We live in an interconnected world, and events transpiring worldwide ultimately affects Canadians, whether we are speaking about economic trade, global prices of goods and commodities, knowledge and skills exchange, effects of climate change, disease transmission and control, natural disaster management, and others. Fulfilling our international obligations protects and serves the interests of Canadians. 

People fleeing war, persecution or natural disasters face tremendous barriers to obtaining necessary travel documents. For this reason, I have been advocating for visa-free travel for urgent, life-and-death situations such as the war in Ukraine. I have also been advocating for the government to rescind the safe third country agreement because often, refugees cannot get to safety without first going to a third country. It is paramount that Canada has an adequately resourced immigration system that can act with flexibility and expediency in times of crisis without compromising national security standards.

As your Member of Parliament, I will fight to ensure Canada fulfills its humanitarian and environmental obligations as a member of the international community.

AFGN COMMITTEE REPORT - Honouring Canada’s Legacy in Afghanistan: Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis and Helping People Reach Safety

The NDP stands firmly and fully in support of these calls for action.  The NDP is urgently calling on the Government of Canada to adopt the following recommendations.   

Recommendation 1: 

That the Government of Canada ensure that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada reduce the documentation requirements and allow persecuted Afghans’ paperwork and biometrics to be completed when they are safely on Canadian soil.

Recommendation 2:

That the Government of Canada provide evacuation flights to Afghans in third countries.

Recommendation 3:

That the Government of Canada apply the special immigration measures for Ukraine to Afghanistan.

Recommendation 4:

That the Government of Canada expand and renew the special immigration measures for Afghans for another year, so that those who are eligible have another opportunity to apply. 

IN THE NEWS: Global News - NDP alleges feds ‘lost’ 2,900 applications of Afghans who worked for Canada

IN THE NEWS: Global News - NDP alleges feds ‘lost’ 2,900 applications of Afghans who worked for Canada

The status of 2,900 applications from Afghans vetted by the Department of National Defence (DND) remains a mystery, one month after senior DND officials testified that only 900 of 3,800 vetted applications had been approved by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) department.
“That means that the government, the immigration department, has lost some [2,900] files,” NDP Immigration Critic Jenny Kwan told Global News.
“They cannot find them. They do not know where they are. And people’s lives are hanging in the balance because those applications are not being processed.”

AFGH#13: Jenny attends Afghanistan Committee

In the instance where biometrics could not be obtained for obvious reasons.... The government is saying that people have to go to the Taliban office to get a passport. You can imagine what that will be like. There will absolutely be a bull's eye put on them. They will not be able to get those passports, and without those passports, they cannot get to a third country. Without getting to a third country, they cannot get to safety.
From that perspective, if we've exhausted all of these options, given that people's lives hang in the balance, should the government then waive the biometrics and other documentation requirements until the Afghans are safely here in Canada? Once they're safe on Canadian soil, we can then go through the process and do all of that work.

IN THE NEWS: Globe & Mail - With no clear path to Canada, Afghan lawyers seeking refuge say they’re forced to live in secrecy

IN THE NEWS: Globe & Mail - With no clear path to Canada, Afghan lawyers seeking refuge say they’re forced to live in secrecy

NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan wrote a letter to Mr. Fraser and Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly in December, saying that she wanted to bring their attention to the law-firm employees stuck in Kabul and that they are facing “very credible threats” to their lives.
She said in an interview that the situation is “absolutely devastating.” Ms. Kwan said the group asked for assistance from the government in August, and the response has “been crickets.”
“Why haven’t these individuals whose lives are in imminent danger, who are hiding on a daily basis from the Taliban, have not heard from IRCC? How is this even possible?”
Ms. Kwan said she is concerned that the government will simply leave them behind, adding that she is drafting another letter and is calling on the government to commit to bring them to safety.

IN THE NEWS: National Post - Fraser pressed on why Immigration has not approved 2,900 Afghans who helped Canada

OTTAWA — NDP caucus chair Jenny Kwan says she is seeking urgent answers about what has happened to the applications of 2,900 Afghans who helped the Canadian military.
Kwan is demanding Immigration Minister Sean Fraser explain why the Afghans, whose credentials were checked and verified by Canada’s military, have not had their applications to come to Canada approved.
Defence chief Gen. Wayne Eyre told a parliamentary committee Monday night that the Defence Department had checked and verified the credentials of 3,800 Afghans, including interpreters, who supported the Canadian military.
Kwan said she is planning to pursue the matter vigorously with the department as the lives of Afghans who helped Canadian troops are in danger from the Taliban.
She also plans to ask if the Immigration Department has lost files of Afghan interpreters who want to come to Canada, saying the government has “betrayed them.”

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