Province signs MOU to help bring Ukrainians into province

The provincial government has signed a memorandum of understanding with a pair of human rights groups – Solidaire and Open Arms – that are trying to bring more Ukrainians into Saskatchewan.

Three more flights with displaced Ukrainians, flying out of Poland, will join the 1,500 Ukrainians already in the province since the invasion and war in Ukraine began six months ago.

Elena Krueger, the president of the Ukrainian Canadian Council of Saskatchewan, is grateful to be able to welcome Ukrainians into the province.

“We are a strong and vibrant community with the cultural, linguistic and social supports in place to welcome Ukrainians displaced by war,” said Krueger.

Solidaire and Open Arms will work to bring more than 1,000 Ukraine citizens from Warsaw, Poland. At the Delta Regina hotel, various banks and government agencies have been set up for the latest group of Ukrainians who arrived in Saskatchewan earlier this week.

“For fear of their lives and those of their children, Ukrainians are fleeing the war in their country and they seek safety and refuge elsewhere,” Krueger said.

“We are proud to partner with the Government of Saskatchewan on this important initiative,” Open Arms’ Air Corridor Coordinator, Francisco Gentico said in a media release. “The support in place for Ukrainians when they arrive in Saskatchewan has far exceeded our expectations, and we know that the community will continue to help Ukrainians settle here as quickly and easily as possible.”

At the media conference today, Premier Scott Moe said Saskatchewan will be a place of hope and opportunity for those fleeing hardships in other areas.

“Immigration, we understand is a federal responsibility,” said Moe. “The efforts to bring Ukrainians into Saskatchewan is happening with virtually little to no help from the (federal) government.”

He said a study from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy indicated that compared to other countries, Canada has received a small number of Ukrainians and that the applications outstrip the number being granted by the feds.

Moe said the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program to expedite visas needs to be streamlined.

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