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Canada to resettle Afghans who worked with military, embassy

Last Updated Jul 23, 2021 at 10:46 am MDT

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announces measures of support to in-Canada families of victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — The federal government says it will fast-track the resettlement of Afghans who previously worked with the Canadian military and embassy and are now at risk from the Taliban.

The move follows weeks of pressure from Canadian veterans and others worried that Afghans who supported Canada are in danger as the Taliban makes rapid gains across the country.

Cabinet ministers say those who will be eligible for the special immigration measure include former interpreters and translators who worked with the Canadian military during this country’s 13-year war in Afghanistan.

It will also include cooks, drivers and other staff employed at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul.

The ministers say teams are now on the ground to identify potential applicants, but would not provide details on how Afghans will be brought to Canada citing security concerns.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said the government recognizes the urgency of the situation, but would not say when Afghans would start to arrive in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press