News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

January 5, 2023

Premier Heather Stefanson Announces Funding for 'Hockey Can't Stop Tour' in Support of Ukraine

– – –
Unwavering Support Continues for Ukrainian Community: Premier

The Manitoba government is providing $5,000 in support of the Hockey Can’t Stop Tour hosted by the Ukrainian Hockey Dream Foundation and the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine, Premier Heather Stefanson and Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Andrew Smith announced today.

“Manitoba’s support for Ukrainians seeking refuge and safety from the unprovoked attack in their homeland has been unwavering — a testament to the spirit and generosity of all Manitobans,” said Stefanson. “We continue to welcome them with open hearts and arms and now we can come together in our shared passion for hockey.”

Ukraine’s under-25 men’s national team has been touring Western Canada in preparation for the upcoming Winter World University Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. In addition to providing the team with a safe place to practice, the games have been an important opportunity to raise money for refugees and Ukrainian communities torn apart by the war, the premier noted.

“Our government is pleased to support the Hockey Can’t Stop Tour in partnership with the University of Manitoba, True North Sports + Entertainment and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council (UCC-MPC),” said Smith. “What better way to bring Manitobans together and to reaffirm our government’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian community.”

The game will take place on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at Canada Life Centre. All ticket proceeds will be sent to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation. The foundation will disperse the majority of funds to the Ukrainian Hockey Dream Foundation, a charitable foundation operated by the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine with the assistance of the International Ice Hockey Federation. To purchase tickets, visit here

“The Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council is grateful for the generous contribution of the Manitoba government, and is excited to provide newcomers with the opportunity to attend the game,’” said Joanne Lewandowsky, president, UCC-MPC. “We are pleased to partner with the provincial government, the University of Manitoba and True North Sports + Entertainment in order to make this happen.”

Manitoba is the final stop on the Hockey Can’t Stop Tour and True North Sports + Entertainment will host the team at Canada Life Centre in advance of its matchup with the University of Manitoba Bison men’s hockey team.

“The University of Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team is thrilled to host the Ukraine national team in support of humanitarian groups in Ukraine and Canada,” said Michael Benarroch, president and vice-chancellor, University of Manitoba. “Our university, along with our province, has many connections to Ukraine and we welcome this opportunity to bring the community together.”

“True North Sports + Entertainment is proud to partner and host the Hockey Can’t Stop Tour for its Manitoba date,” said Mark Chipman, chairman, True North Sports + Entertainment. “Not only are we excited to support this important initiative and gather our community during these challenging times, but we are thrilled to be offering an NHL venue for them to play in – a first for many of these young inspiring players.”

The Russian invasion and vile ongoing attacks on Ukrainian civilians cast a dark shadow, making this tour a short but important reprieve for players, their families and refugees across Manitoba, the premier noted.

Manitoba continues to lead the country in providing a full range of settlement supports and services and its Ukrainian Refugee Task Force remains the national benchmark. Through its consolidated service access hub and reception centre it co-ordinates:

  • intake services to determine individual and family needs;
  • meals and temporary accommodations;
  • access to co-ordinated health-care services, and the issuance of Manitoba Health cards;
  • orientation and referral services through Manitoba Start to link people to language training and workforce and employment opportunities;
  • resources available through UCC-MPC;
  • education and child-care services; and
  • transition to more permanent housing.

More Ukrainians have sought refuge in Manitoba than in any other province on a per capita basis. Based on federal arrival data, roughly 12 per cent have come to Manitoba. To date, the effectiveness of the Ukrainian Refugee Task Force and the overwhelming support of the Ukrainian-Canadian community and all Manitobans has resulted in:

  • over 130,000 nights of safe shelter and accommodation;
  • over 15,500 Ukrainians accessing the reception and welcoming centre;
  • approximately 11,100 provincial health cards issued;
  • over 9,300 reimbursement claims for the costs of the federal immigration medical examination required on entry; and
  • over 180 eligible households receiving provincial temporary assistance to support housing and supplemental health care including prescription, dental and optical benefits.

The Manitoba government has also provided $800,000 in direct humanitarian aid to Ukraine and nearly 300 soft body-armour vests to assist with the war effort, the premier added.

For additional information on Manitoba’s response efforts and resources available for Ukrainian refugees, visit:

- 30 -