August 18, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Calgary, AB - The Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, Conservative Candidate for Calgary Nose Hill, issued the following statement on the vulnerable and internally displaced persons (IDPs) trapped in Afghanistan:
“The government has announced plans to resettle refugees for those who have reached the relative safety of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) camps, but it has given up on saving the most vulnerable who are still trapped in Afghanistan.
“We know that minorities like Hazaras, Sikhs, and LGBTQ individuals are not safe in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, nor are known collaborators with Canada and its allies, members of civil society, and more. They have limited opportunities to flee the country given the establishment of Taliban checkpoints. We also know that vulnerable women and girls cannot leave their homes without a male relative. We cannot abandon these highly vulnerable individuals who will never make it to a UNHCR camp as the Taliban swiftly tighten their already considerable grip on the country.
“Today, I am calling on Justin Trudeau to immediately:
- Recall the Minister of Immigration from the campaign trail to give direction to his department which has been placed in caretaker mode due to the election.
- Set up a special program for the most vulnerable in Afghanistan and outline plans to rescue them, similar to what Conservatives requested to address the Yazidi genocide. This includes prioritizing highly vulnerable persons who are at risk of death and torture from the Taliban for resettlement in the first instance while assessing the safety of those who have reached UNHCR refugee camps outside Afghanistan.
- Communicate details of their resettlement announcement to the Canadian public. This should include application process details, the process for security screening, and more. It should also acknowledge that this is not a time to impose undue bureaucratic hurdles on those fleeing for their lives.
- Establish a hotline for Canadians with family members in Afghanistan to call to get information on the government’s resettlement process.
- Work with NGOs, civil society groups, international organizations, and allied countries to establish a plan to evacuate the highly vulnerable for the purpose of resettlement.
“These vulnerable people cannot wait until September 20 for action.
“I will continue to press for immediate action despite the unnecessary early election that Trudeau has called. We cannot abandon the most vulnerable stranded in Afghanistan.”
For more information:
Conservative Party of Canada