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Letter: Afghan interpreters need our help

Perhaps your local Liberal candidate may have a way to access those who could send more help for those who risked their lives
opinion

On the news I heard a 13 year-old Afghan boy plead that we ask our prime minister to help him and his family as they flee Afghanistan and hide, witnessing atrocities.

An Afghan interpreter whispers that the Taliban are now searching door to door for collaborators after he went with his family to the airport, paperwork in hand, and could not get into the closed gates, so he had to return home.

Those who helped us had been told to go to our embassy, but it was locked up when they got there. The 1,500 people that have left on the Canadian flights included those who abandoned that embassy. How many interpreters have left? How many have already been murdered?

Those who had managed to leave Afghanistan had to return there to qualify to submit an application to come to Canada. The application window was only 72 hours long and the site went down during that period.

Mercedes Stevensen was told that the application process was complex, and that a Canadian journalist’s application that was submitted Aug. 9 had not yet been responded to. Unlike Britain and France, Canada has not provided help in getting to the Kabul airport, where some are being attacked outside the gates. They lack food and water and facilities, and are just told to wear red and yell “Canada” within a crowd half a kilometre deep. The prime minister admits that not many will be able to get out.

What can we do? I checked federal offices of the government ministers for immigration (IRCC), armed forces and the prime minister, and can tell you that the MP email addresses that end in @parl.gc.ca are no longer valid. The election has dissolved Parliament, and their constituency offices are limited in what they can do for the same reason. The MPs are now just candidates for election, and state that their own constituents will be prioritized. The prime minister’s constituency office has a recorded message in French and then hangs up.

I looked up the prime minister, Marco Mendicino, minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), and Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan. No luck.

Although we are being told that Canada is “working hard, very hard, non-stop, night and day, and 24/7”, Mercedes Stevensen has been told that Afghans have said that the 1-800 number they are supposed to call was not not being answered.

Perhaps your local Liberal candidate may have a way to access those who could send more help for those who risked their lives to help our armed forces and who trusted Canada.

Imagining the horror,

Dorothy Moore,

Didsbury