ontario news watch

Ottawa promises plan to help Afghan interpreters, stops short on timeline

OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says the federal government is working on a plan to help Afghans who worked with Canada and could now be facing retribution from the Taliban.

Pressure is mounting on Ottawa to help dozens of former interpreters, translators and cultural advisers who aided the Canadian military and development efforts during the war in Afghanistan.

Canadian veterans in particular have been sounding the alarm with growing concern.

They say their former colleagues are under threat of arrest or worse as the Taliban, emboldened by the sudden withdrawal of American forces, has captured large areas of the country.

The veterans have stressed the need for speed, saying the risk to those unable to escape grows every day.

Mendicino says he is aware of the situation’s urgency, but did not say when Ottawa’s plan will become a reality.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press