Afghan war vet races against red tape and the Taliban to bring interpreter’s family to N.S.
Afghan war vet races against red tape and the Taliban to bring interpreter’s family to N.S.
John and Kara Monaghan have a busy life raising four children, but another family is never far from their thoughts.
John is a retired Canadian naval lieutenant, 13 years removed from a tour of Afghanistan -- a conflict which drew him close to his comrades-in-arms.
"It's camaraderie like you couldn't imagine,” he says.
John was part of a provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.
Part of the job was winning the hearts and minds of locals by building infrastructure, like fresh water wells, in small Afghan villages.
That's where Mr. Jones comes in.
"He proved he was reliable and we just became friends," John says of a former interpreter whose true identity remains hidden because it could make him a target of the Taliban.
John says Mr. Jones did more than just translate.
“A lot of our information we got was through him. His personality, people liked him,” says John.
John retired from service in 2016 and the following year, he helped Mr. Jones move to Canada and get his citizenship. But PTSD and loneliness prevented a happy ending.
Mr. Jones moved back to Afghanistan after learning his mother was ill.
"She ended passing away as the Taliban retook the country," says John.
That was last August, a terrible month, which triggered John's own PTSD.
“It created a lot of anxiety in the Afghan vets,” he says. “I'm still dealing with it and it's hard.”
But John and Kara took action, lobbying and fundraising to bring Mr. Jones, his wife, his four older siblings and their large families to Nova Scotia; 35 people in total with a 36th on the way.
The Jones are expecting their first baby, which has increased the Monaghans' sense of urgency.
“We just want them here now," says Kara. “If we could just pluck them up … that would be ideal.”
But it’s not that simple.
“Red tape is the bane of my existence," says John.
However, good news arrived this week from Ottawa in the form of official paperwork.
"They're all basically approved to come to Canada now,” John explains, but he says leaving Afghanistan may mean dealing directly with the Taliban, which he worries about.
“Anything there can set something off and set in motion something terrible," he said.
The Monaghans have been in contact with the Immigration Services Association of Nova Scotia, which they say has pledged to help find housing for the family, and they say they’ve received similar assurances from Premier Tim Houston’s office.
To help cover the enormous costs of bringing three dozen people from Afghanistan to Canada, the Monaghans are raffling off tickets for a donated trip for two to Sable Island.
The goal is to raise $100,000, but so far, they’ve sold less than $5,000-worth, and time is running short.
“So close, yet so far,” John says.
Anyone interested in donating towards the Monaghans cause can visit here.
Atlantic Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Many Canadians remain unaware of the involvement of forced child labour in the products they buy, according to non-profit agency World Vision Canada.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to denounce the justice's decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion.
As Pride festivities kick off around the world, many refugees are celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community for the first time.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.
The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in nearly 50 countries should be closely monitored but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, protesters and supporters of the ruling gathered at the high court's building in Washington, D.C., and in other cities nationwide.
With the nation's capital bracing for anticipated anti-mandate 'freedom' movement protests during Canada Day weekend, interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen says her MPs are free to attend.
A barge that ran aground near Vancouver's English Bay last year quickly became an accidental attraction, drawing selfie-seekers and inspiring T-shirt designs. But after seven months, residents seem to have grown weary of its hulking presence on the shoreline.
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ rights event, KyivPride, is going ahead on Saturday. But not on its native streets and not as a celebration.
Dozens of people gathered outside the U.S. consulate in downtown Toronto Saturday to protest a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn constitutional protection for abortion rights.
Office workers are returning to Toronto but foot traffic on Mondays and Fridays hasn’t bounced back. Will it ever?
More people are commuting to offices downtown than at any point since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but the recovery hasn’t been equal across the board, with both GO Transit and the TTC reporting fluctuations in ridership as many workers choose to work from home at the beginning and end of each week.
Every Monday, Mark Powell drives to the Burlington, Ont., pork plant where his wife died to give water to pigs on their way to slaughter.
Nearly 100 Ukrainian members of Calgary’s community marched in protest calling for the release of Azovstal Iron and steel workers, defending Mariupol from Russian attacks.
After the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for abortion Friday by overturning Roe v. Wade, NDP Leader Rachel Notley demanded that everyone running to become the next leader of the UCP clarify their stance on the issue.
One city councillor hosted a town hall meeting Saturday with social agencies and police to address rising crime rates in northeast Calgary.
Paramedics in Greater Montreal are stretched particularly thin this weekend, with nearly half the territory's ambulances parked due to a staffing shortage.
Police on Montreal's South Shore has located the suspect vehicle they say was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman dead.
Friends and family of a 17-year-old girl who died in what police are calling an accident on the shore in LaSalle gathered Saturday to remember the Montreal teen who her mother said was 'was full of life.'
Fans leaving the Garth Brooks concert at Commonwealth Stadium Friday night were happy and smiling, despite some logistical issues that delayed the show and frustrated some.
A Member of Parliament from rural Alberta went live on Facebook Friday to celebrate a United States Supreme Court vote to end constitutional protections for abortion.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of Edmonton City Hall Saturday to celebrate the first large Pride event in the city in four years, and the first one in Churchill Square in eight.
Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal MP Anthony Rota said he was shocked by Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling.
With hundreds of students from India who attend Northern College, and other professionals from India who've moved to the city to work, organizers said they felt it was time to bring everyone together to celebrate their culture with the rest of the community.
A group of friends doing work on a camp in MacGregor Bay helped contain what could have been a devastating fire in Killarney Provincial Park.
A motorcyclist was airlifted to the hospital with unknown injuries Saturday morning following a crash in Bayham, Ont.
The identity of a pedestrian who died after being struck by a vehicle on Walpole Island has been released by police.
The Chatham-Kent police Major Crime Unit is working alongside the Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office to determine the cause of a house fire after a body was found inside the home.
Using a trailer or an RV is an easy way for people to get out of the city and into the outdoors, but with soaring gas prices, the cost of driving with one has gone up drastically.
Winnipeg was once again pummelled by rain on Friday and the city came close to setting a rainfall record.
No one was injured but one pet died after an early morning fire Saturday.
The summer festival season in Ottawa kicked off this weekend with thousands gathering for events across the city.
Someone called 911 from Britannia Beach at approximately 7:15 p.m. Saturday, reporting four people had fallen off a paddleboard and were floating towards the Deschenes Rapids in Ottawa's west end.
There are no reports of injuries after two jet skis collided near Petrie Island Bay in Ottawa's east end.
When Ennio Muzzolini walked into Christies Mayfair Bakery in 1965 interested in purchasing the small bakery on 33rd Street, he never imagined he’d one day be looking on as hundreds of people lined the block to get their hands on a baguette, cinnamon bun or wood-fired pizza.
Organizers have decided to cancel the Elk Ridge Open due to an “inordinate amount of rain.”
A Saskatoon man whose family helped to build the Waterhen Lake Church is planning to help rebuild the church.
As the first sustained heat of the season settles in across B.C.'s south coast, Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a special weather statement advising people of high temperatures and humidex values through Monday.
Metro Vancouver is experiencing its first stretch of hot summer weather this weekend and people are scouring stores looking for air conditioners and fans to cool off – some being met with empty shelves.
The family of a Vancouver police officer who died by suicide is suing the department, alleging she endured sexual assault and exploitation enabled by an "unsafe workplace culture and insufficient policies and procedures," court documents show.
Over 400 people contributed to the Field of Dreams project, which led to the purchase of a large track of prairie grasslands for preservation.
The Saskatchewan NDP will elect its next leader at a convention on Sunday.
Saskatchewan RCMP are investigating after a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 5 in Wadena.
A 15-month dispute in British Columbia's film and television industry has ended with the ratification of a new contract for creative and logistical staff working on productions shot in the province.
All ferry sailings between two of B.C.'s Discovery Islands have been cancelled Saturday because of a lack of crew.
When Tabi Henry was little, she never questioned why everyone celebrated her birthday in costume. Until she realized Oct. 31 was also Halloween.