(Ottawa) Three charter flights to bring Ukrainians to Canada will leave Poland in the coming weeks.
Federal Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said Wednesday charter flights will be available for some of the more than 90,000 Ukrainians who have been approved for emergency travel to Canada.
Fraser says all three flights will depart from Poland, with seats available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The first flight will depart for Winnipeg on May 23, the second will depart for Montreal on May 29, and the third will depart June 2 for Halifax.
The minister says the charter flights are in addition to commercial options, subsidized by a special fund, that are available to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian military’s war in their country.
The Canadian government says thousands of Ukrainians have arrived in Canada since the first attack by Russian forces on February 24. Mr. Fraser does not know how many more will eventually arrive in Canada.
“There have been around 92,000 approvals through the emergency program so far, largely since the end of March, and applications are now being processed fairly quickly, so I expect that number to continue to grow. Minister Fraser told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s hard to predict where this is going to end up because what we’re hearing on the ground is that there are a lot of people applying on a pre-emptive basis, so to speak — they’re monitoring the situation on the ground in Ukraine, to see if that’s something they might need. »
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra added that the government continues to face logistical challenges in helping Ukrainians who want to flee to Canada. “One of the challenges is that people who had applied for a visa are no longer in the same place,” he explained.
Mr. Alghabra says “it took —and still takes — a lot of work to figure out where some candidates are, where they can go from” and where they want to settle in Canada.