Madam Speaker, when the Taliban seized power last year, about 13,000 Afghans fled north to Tajikistan. Some of these refugees had rendered service to the Canadian Armed Forces earlier during the war. For several months now, the Tajik government has been openly contemplating deporting all Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan. For those who helped foreign troops during the war, this would be a death sentence.
One such family belongs to a courageous interpreter who now resides in my riding in the town of Smiths Falls. His parents and siblings, one of whom is only 15 years old, are languishing in Tajikistan. The family clearly qualifies to come to Canada and had filled out all necessary paperwork back in January, but as of this month, my office has learned that the department has not even started verifying security checks.
This is just one of literally thousands of examples of how the glacial pace of Canada's immigration bureaucracy is risking lives. Surely this country can do better for those who helped us in our time of need now that they are in need of our help.