Trudeau has no timeline for unblocking Afghan aid



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not specified a timeline for when Canadian aid teams will be capable of reply to a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, regardless of peer nations discovering loopholes of their anti-terrorism legal guidelines months in the past.

Aid teams advised members of Parliament this spring that Canadian officers warned them that they might run afoul of terrorist financing guidelines by delivering help.

They advised a parliamentary committee that officers mentioned shopping for provides or paying a driver to ship meals in Afghanistan would incur taxes for the Taliban, which took over the nation in August 2021 and which Canada acknowledges as a terrorist group.

The Liberals say they need to discover a workaround. But Trudeau provided no timeline Wednesday when requested when the federal authorities would repair the scenario.

“We understand how essential it’s to help the folks of Afghanistan,” Trudeau responded throughout a information convention in Pickering, Ont. “We will proceed to take a look at how we can assist.”

Afghanistan is dealing with a scarcity of meals and medical provides, made worse by worldwide sanctions, two massive earthquakes and drought.

UNICEF has reported an increase in youngster labour, and has mentioned that extra households are providing younger women for marriage in alternate for a dowry to allow them to buy fundamental requirements.

By the time the House of Commons particular committee on Afghanistan reported on the aid situation in June, the U.S., Britain, Australia and the European Union had all discovered workarounds to their very own legal guidelines, permitting aid teams to assist Afghans with out incurring penalties.

The authorities filed a response to the committee report final week, saying it “will think about measures, together with legislative choices,” however providing no timeline.

“Current counter-terrorism measures and laws have the unintended impact of impeding respectable humanitarian help in Afghanistan,” the Oct. 6 response reads.

“Unlike legal guidelines in another like-minded states, Canada doesn’t have an exemption mechanism for this (terrorism financing) offence, together with for the supply of life-saving humanitarian aid.”

Ottawa’s response additionally notes that “the federal government of Canada has no intention of recognizing the Taliban de facto authorities as the federal government of Afghanistan,” a degree Trudeau reiterated on Wednesday.

Yet Trudeau has confirmed that Ottawa has been in common talks with Taliban leaders since shortly after they took over Afghanistan, as reported by CBC News final week.

Constitutional attorneys have argued that Ottawa is not accurately deciphering its personal legal guidelines, saying the Criminal Code provisions in opposition to financing terrorists can not apply to paying native taxes.

Otherwise, they be aware, Afghan refugees could be barred from coming into Canada, since that they had possible paid taxes to the Taliban.

Conservative worldwide improvement critic Garnett Genuis mentioned Trudeau’s response rings hole when thousands and thousands are liable to deprivation.

“It’s a significant disaster scenario, from a humanitarian perspective, and Canadian organizations are clearly at a selected drawback,” mentioned Genuis, who was a part of the particular parliamentary committee.

“Sadly, that is one other a kind of instances the place the federal government claims to be on prime of one thing however is, by all indication, doing nothing, providing no timelines and never recognizing the necessity and the urgency.”

The Liberal authorities has harassed that it is ready to get aid to Afghanistan by way of the United Nations, even when Canadian organizations cannot do unbiased work on the bottom.

“We are persevering with to work with companions world wide, to assist get wanted humanitarian aid into Afghanistan regardless of the Taliban, and we are going to proceed to just do that,” Trudeau mentioned Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Oct. 12, 2022.


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