News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 10, 2022

MANITOBA GOVERNMENT PREPARES FOR CHARTER FLIGHT BRINGING 300 UKRAINIAN REFUGEES TO MANITOBA

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We Will Welcome Refugees with Open Hearts and Open Arms: Premier

The Manitoba government has received confirmation one of three federally arranged chartered flights to transport Ukrainian refugees to Canada will arrive at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, Premier Heather Stefanson announced today.

"Since the beginning of this brutal war of aggression, we have been preparing for the potential arrival of thousands of Ukrainians seeking safety and refuge here in Manitoba,” said Stefanson. “We will continue to welcome Ukrainians suffering unimaginable loss with open hearts and open arms, and will support them with a full range of provincial support services including housing arrangements, health and mental health care, education, child care, social assistance, language services and labour market assistance.” 

While the exact arrival date has yet to be determined, the province has been asked to prepare for the third week of May, the premier noted. The charter is expected to host nearly 300 approved applicants under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET). All three federal charters will be departing from Warsaw, Poland.

Once they arrive, refugees will be welcomed and transported to Manitoba’s Ukrainian Refugee Reception Centre, where the co-ordination of arrival and settlement processes will continue. This is part of the partnership established at the outset of the war between the provincial Ukrainian Refugee Task Force and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Manitoba Provincial Council.

“We have been receiving countless communications from those uprooted by the war currently being waged by Russia in Ukraine and anxious to find safety,” said Joanne Lewandosky, president,  Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Manitoba Provincial Council. “Many have fled with only the clothes they were wearing and cannot access the financial resources to enable them to travel to Canada. The charter flight being organized will enable up to 300 displaced persons to come to Manitoba, where the Ukrainian community in partnership with governments are providing much-needed supplies and services to help these newcomers settle and adjust. We look forward to their arrival and are prepared to welcome them with all our hearts.”

As part of broader collaboration with other Ukrainian-Canadian organizations, the settlement sector, community groups and other non-government organizations, the reception centre provides:

  • initial intake services to determine individual and family needs;
  • temporary accommodations and meals to individuals who have no connection to individuals in Manitoba;
  • access to co-ordinated health-care services; and
  • orientation and referral services through Manitoba Start, to facilitate awareness of settlement supports that link people to language training, the workforce and longer-term settlement needs.

To date, the reception centre has seen over 340 people from Ukraine, 20 per cent of whom are children.

The premier noted the Manitoba government has provided $800,000 in direct humanitarian aid to Ukraine so far and the government of Manitoba will continue to make large-scale investments in provincial supports and services as Ukrainians arrive in Manitoba. Stefanson also encouraged people to visit the dedicated government website at https://manitoba4ukraine.ca, a central portal to gather and share information on Manitoba's response efforts and to harness other assistance, volunteer and donation opportunities.

Volunteers will also be on site to help greet families as they arrive and provide language assistance in first languages. Any donations of goods or supplies may be made through the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Manitoba Provincial Council.

To learn more about government’s Ukrainian response and find additional links and information on how to help and receive further updates, visit https://manitoba4ukraine.ca/ for content in English, French and Ukrainian.

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