Province signs MOU to settle more than 1,000 Ukrainians displaced by war

·2 min read

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe joined representatives from international humanitarian organizations Solidaire and Open Arms to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging to partner on a total of five flights aiming to bring more Ukrainian citizens to Saskatchewan.

The three parties plan to bring more than 1,000 Ukrainians to the province from Warsaw, Poland, where many have fled since the start of the Russian invasion. All flights would arrive in Saskatchewan by March 31, 2023. This includes the two humanitarian flights that departed from Poland to Saskatchewan on July 4 and August 10.

"In true Saskatchewan fashion, Ukrainians have been met with kindness, support and compassion upon landing in our province," Moe said during a news conference on Friday. "Today, with the signing of this MOU, we commit to welcoming even more Ukrainian citizens. This is an important and meaningful step toward providing a safe refuge for people dealing with unimaginable situations."

Open Arms' Air Corridor Coordinator, Francisco Gentico said it was important to help bring more Ukrainains to Saskatchewan. He added that they’re proud to partner with the provincial government to make it happen.

“The support in place for Ukrainians when they arrive in Saskatchewan has far exceeded our expectations,” Gentico said. “We know that the community will continue to help Ukrainians settle here as quickly and easily as possible.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced millions of Ukrainian people to flee their country in search of safety. More than 1,500 displaced Ukrainians have arrived in Saskatchewan since the conflict began, including those who have already arrived on the two previous humanitarian flights with Solidaire and Open Arms.

“As the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve, the Government of Saskatchewan will continue to look for opportunities to support the people impacted,” said a media release from the provincial government.

Those seeking information about programs and services available to Ukrainian newcomers on an ongoing basis can call 1-833-613-0485 (toll free), by email at ukrainesupport@gov.sk.ca or by accessing online resources at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/saskatchewan-supports-ukraine.

Bailey Sutherland, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald