Municipalities in Alberta and Manitoba are opening their doors for Ukrainian families
By Diego Flammini
Communities across Western Canada are opening their doors and hearts to welcome Ukrainian refugees displaced by the conflict in their home country.
In Harrison Park, Man., for example, local council agreed to allocate $20,000 from the annual budget to help Ukrainians integrate into the community.
Councilors are looking to work with Elkhorn Resort, a spa and conference centre in the community, to provide people with a room and potential employment upon settling in the community.
“I believe this would be a great community for people and for families to settle, we’ve got a great school and everything people would need, and it’s a beautiful and welcoming community,” Councilor Craig Atkinson said, the Winnipeg Sun reported.
Albertans are welcoming Ukrainian refugees into their homes too.
Multiple residents in Calgary are offering their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the war.
Sally Timms, whose late husband was Ukrainian, and others, are posting their homes on icanhelp.host, a platform launched to help with the humanitarian issue in Ukraine.
“My kids have Ukrainian blood … (With) the Ukrainian tie, it really hit me that these people are fleeing with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” she told the Calgary Herald. “I guess I have to consider myself a fortunate individual; life’s been pretty good to me. I just feel like it’s a way to pay back, and I feel like it’s what my husband would want me to do, too.”
And in Saskatchewan, the provincial government is doing what it can to ensure Ukrainians leaving home can settle in the province.
The government committed to provide funding to community supports like language training and settlement services.
"It's time to pay our debt back to those generations of Ukrainian immigrants who helped build our province, giving refuge to their descendants who are being so viciously attacked by the Putin regime," said Immigration, Refugees and Training Minister Jeremy Harrison. "Ukrainians will find a welcoming environment in our communities, including many residents with the same culture and language, which will assist in ensuring long-term success with resettlement in Saskatchewan."
Millions of Ukrainians have left their homes due to the Russian invasion.
The United Nations estimates 10 million people are displaced.
Since Jan. 1, more than 6,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada, the federal immigration ministry says.