Federal charter flight to bring Ukrainians seeking refuge to Winnipeg

The federal government has announced three chartered flights will bring Ukrainians seeking temporary safe haven to Canada in the coming weeks.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser announced the flights Wednesday, noting they will be available to those approved through the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) program.

The flights from Poland will land in Winnipeg on May 23, in Montreal on May 29, and in Halifax on June 2.

“Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced and forced to flee their homes, and these charter flights will help make sure that those who want to come to Canada have the support they need,” Fraser said in a news release.

“We’ll continue to work with provinces and territories, settlement organizations and NGOs to make sure Ukrainians feel at home in their new communities.”

The feds say Ukrainians who have received their visas to come to Canada through CUAET will be contacted by email with information on how to register.

Once in Canada, those who do not already have suitable accommodations in place will be provided with temporary accommodations for up to 14 nights.

The feds also said they will work closely with provinces and territories and settlement organizations across the country to implement special measures and provide supports to Ukrainians as they arrive in Canada.

The CUAET program was announced in March and aims to provide Ukrainians and their immediate family of any nationality the opportunity to stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to three years. They are also eligible for a free work permit or study permit.

The federal government also announced temporary federal supports to help those arriving under the CUAET program settle in their new communities. These extended settlement services include language training and information on how to enroll children in school and access to the labour market.

As of May 4, over 200,000 CUAET applications were submitted and close to 91,500 applications have been approved.