OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says the government predicts it could take two years to fulfil its promise of bringing 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada.
The minister says the government is facing challenges in Afghanistan and other countries where refugees have fled but is trying to get them to Canada "as quickly as humanly possible."
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, he says the two-year timeline is an estimate and that hundreds of Afghan refugees are arriving in Canada weekly.
The NDP criticized the red tape imposed on desperate Afghans, with leader Jagmeet Singh telling a news conference that making Afghans fleeing the Taliban fill out an online form during a time of crisis is not the right response.
Jenny Kwan, the NDP's immigration critic, says she is not sure that Afghans in hiding from the Taliban — including women and children, human-rights activists, and interpreters who helped the Canadian military — would still be alive in two years.
Kwan says the Canadian government should do all it can to help get vulnerable Afghans to Canada and sort out the paperwork once they are safe.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021.
The Canadian Press