Last Updated: Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 7:28 PM ET
Canada to open door to Afghans who helped our diplomats, military
The Canadian Press
An Afghan interpreter called Junior is shown in this 2006 file photo in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Sue Bailey/Canadian Press)
Canada is set to open its doors to hundreds of Afghans who face life-threatening risks after having worked with our military and diplomats, The Canadian Press has learned.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Thursday he's putting the final touches on a policy to provide safe haven to Afghans endangered by their association with Canada.
Unlike other NATO countries, Canada has no policy on humanitarian immigration for local staff — but that's about to change.
Afghans who have been severely injured working with the Canadian military or who can prove they face threats will be eligible for fast-track entry.
The first of those ex-employees and their immediate relatives could arrive within months.
The policy goes much further than the one initially considered by the Harper government, which last year said it would examine possible ways to bring over severely injured interpreters only.
The new program will be open to anyone with 12 months' service to the Canadian mission, medical and security checks, and a recommendation letter from a senior soldier or diplomat....
Read more here. And yes, in my view, this is the LEAST that we can do for those who have helped our troops.