Saskatchewan NDP Calls on Provincial and Federal Governments to Welcome More Afghan Refugees | The Canadian News

On Friday, the Saskatchewan PND immigration critic called on the federal and provincial governments to be prepared to receive Afghan refugees. He also believes that the province has room to receive more people.

“(I am) also asking the province and the federal government to work together to ensure that here in Saskatchewan, a small province, a province that needs people to grow and succeed, accepts not just the fewest people, but the greatest number. of people we can, well above our per capita allocation, “said MLA Aleana Young on Friday.

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Regina resident Zohra Bahrami was also at Friday’s press conference, calling the situation difficult for all parties involved.

Bahrami said the focus has been on “when things should have been done rather than what should be done next.”

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“Right now we don’t care what happened in the past, we can’t change that, but what we can do is focus on the future, and we are more interested in knowing what the Government of Canada is going to do. do to save our families and save the Afghan people who want to be saved, ”Bahrami told reporters.

Bahrami has direct relatives living in hiding in Afghanistan. He said communication with them is still short, only focused on confirming that they are safe.

“The situation is changing rapidly in Afghanistan and it is getting worse every day and we cannot just sit back and wait for things to improve to save those people,” Bahrami added.

Bahrami said it has been frustrating not being able to provide an update from the federal government to his family.

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Bahrami agrees with Young that Canada should accept more refugees.

Young said he wrote to Saskatchewan Immigration Minister Jeremy Harrison on Aug. 13 with his concerns and suggestions, but has yet to receive a response.

“I wrote seriously, I was very polite, because this is not about me, it is not about politics. It’s about helping people whose families are in desperate need and helping people who are sad, frustrated and devastated and who don’t even have an update to give to their families on the ground, ”Young said.

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Young said he has also reached out to federal immigration minister Marco Mendicino to get Saskatchewan to accept more refugees.

He said Saskatchewan has the space and opportunity to welcome more people.

“I don’t know why in a province whose motto is ‘from the strength of many peoples,’ we would hold the door,” Young said.

In an emailed statement to Global News, the provincial government said it will continue to work with federal officials to settle Afghan refugees.

“Decisions on the number of refugees to be resettled in Canada and in which communities they will be resettled are determined by the federal government, taking into account where they may have family connections in Canada and the capacity of the service provider,” the statement read.

Click to play video: '' Lifeline Afghanistan 'campaign launched to resettle Afghan refugees'

Launch of the ‘Lifeline Afghanistan’ campaign to resettle Afghan refugees

Launch of the ‘Lifeline Afghanistan’ campaign to resettle Afghan refugees

The government added that so far no Afghan refugees have arrived in Saskatchewan.

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“Refugees will arrive, but the number is not yet known. The government of Canada is relocating these refugees across Canada as quickly as possible after an initial quarantine period. “

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As for working to support refugees, the government said there is a provincial service network ready to support refugees landing in Saskatchewan.

“In Saskatchewan, there are service providers in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Prince Albert who are designated by the federal government to receive government-assisted refugees (GAR). GARs receive support from the federal Refugee Assistance Program (RAP) during their first year in Canada, which includes income and housing. As permanent residents, they will also have access to provincial support and services ”.

Canada’s federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship reported that they have evacuated more than 3,700 so far, although that number may include Canadians. They have pledged to resettle 20,000 refugees.

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