Madam Speaker, we are here this evening because the government has made a commitment to resettle 40,000 Afghan refugees, a commitment that we are failing to deliver on. How many have we actually welcomed? It is only 15,000.
While the minister pats himself on the back for welcoming 37.5% of our commitment, people are suffering. While the minister pats himself on the back for a failing grade, people are dying.
How many people are hiding in abandoned buildings trying to evade the Taliban's wrath, who would kill not only them but everyone they hold dear, like women and children? It does not matter who, because the Taliban are a group of people who have put individuals into cages and set them on fire.
The government is keeping 25,000 terrified people waiting. Canada made a commitment. The government is not delivering, and people are dying because of it.
Even of the 15,000 who have made it, how many were because of the government and how many were because of the heroic efforts of civil society organizations like the Veterans Transition Network? It stepped up in the absence of government leadership to help resettle at least 2,061 refugees. Sadly, as even the CBC reported, even it has had to stop its efforts because its staff were so exhausted by “logistical nightmares” and “bureaucratic red tape”.
Since November of last year, I have had the extreme privilege of working with the Cassels law firm in Toronto in the hopes of savings the lives of people who have assisted Canada in Afghanistan. They were our nation's lawyers in Kabul, but right now it seems their lives do not matter very much. Enough with the excuses; bring them to Canada now.
A short time ago, my hon. colleague, the member for Calgary Forest Lawn, raised in this House the tragic death of Nazifa, who was a 10-year-old girl murdered by the Taliban because her father worked with our military in Kandahar. How many more children will die before the government honours our nation's word?
Just two weeks ago, I was in Warsaw and met with a number of Afghan refugees who were rescued by Poland. Poland has also welcomed 3.6 million Ukrainian refugees. The Afghan refugees need our help. They want to resettle in Canada.
I met with an Afghan couple, he a journalist and she a teacher. He showed me the messages that he had received from the Taliban telling him they would kill him and his wife and any family members they could find.
I also spoke with a former justice of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan. She told me about how she cannot go back because when the Taliban took over, they opened the doors of the prisons and released all the criminals, criminals she had convicted of heinous crimes.
What happened to the government's feminist foreign policy? Canada made a commitment. People's lives are at risk, and the government must honour our nation's word.
What is the plan for the 25,000 people who are waiting for the government to honour its word? Give us a timeline. Please.
We are at 15,000 now. When will we hit 20,000 or 25,000? When will we hit 40,000 refugees?