OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is expected to introduce legislation today to alter terrorism provisions of the Criminal Code that have blocked Canadian humanitarians from working in Afghanistan.
A parliamentary document suggests Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will table a bill amending the Criminal Code and he will hold a news conference at the Ottawa headquarters of the Canadian Red Cross.
The amendment involves terrorism provisions that currently use a broad definition of what counts as supporting a terrorist group.
Humanitarian groups say Global Affairs Canada has told them that purchasing goods or hiring locals in Afghanistan would involve paying taxes to the Taliban, which would amount to contributing to a terror group.
The Liberals are more than a year behind allies who moved swiftly to alter national laws and issue exemptions after the August 2021 Taliban takeover of Kabul to ensure aid workers could keep working in Afghanistan.
Groups such as World Vision Canada say they’ve held back on launching donation appeals because of the rules, despite Afghanistan being one of the countries for which Canadians are most likely to pledge money.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2023.
Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press