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Saskatchewan prepared to accept large number of Ukrainian refugees

Click to play video: 'Mass exodus from Ukraine continues' Mass exodus from Ukraine continues
The UN says two million Ukrainians have fled country amid the ongoing conflict. Mike Armstrong has the latest on the ground in Lviv – Mar 8, 2022

The Saskatchewan government is committing thousands of dollars to help displaced Ukrainians who resettle in the province.

Immigration Minister Jeremy Harrison also said the province is ready to receive an unlimited number of refugees as families are displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.

Harrison announced Tuesday that they will work with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Saskatchewan (UCC) to assist displaced families.

Read more: Two million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russian invasion began, UN says

He also suggested taking advantage of the immigrant nominee program as a way of bringing more people to the province.

“We are not doing this exclusively because there is a labour shortage, we are doing this because we believe we are in a unique situation for there to be successful outcomes for refugees who are resettled regardless of skills or education,” Harrison said.

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It comes with $335,000 in funding, which will be dedicated to community co-ordinators.

He said the partnership with the UCC is over and above any other supports being offered.

“(It) will provide the displaced Ukrainian families who choose to come to our province access to helpful settlement resources they need to rebuild their lives here in Saskatchewan,” he said in a statement.

Harrison said Saskatchewan has a long history of Ukrainian immigration and the province would be an ideal location for incoming refugees.

He also suggested taking advantage of the immigrant nominee program as a way of bringing more people to the province.

“We are not doing this exclusively because there is a labour shortage, we are doing this because we believe we are in a unique situation for there to be successful outcomes for refugees who are resettled regardless of skills or education,” Harrison said.

Premier Scott Moe said a number has not been attached to what his government will invest supporting Ukrainians fleeing the conflict and coming to Saskatchewan.

“We have turned much of our attention towards how do we get those Ukrainian people here out of that area of conflict, get them to Saskatchewan where we can provide the supports,” he said.

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“Whatever those supports are, they’ll be provided.”

Read more: Regina man shares his experiences while in Ukraine during Russian invasion

Immigration critic Aleana Young said while the NDP believes the province should take in as many people who want to come to Saskatchewan as possible, they want to ensure sufficient supports are in place.

“We’ve seen in the past that support, especially for those who have been fleeing war and conflict, has not always matched the need, whether it is language, support or care needed for students potentially experiencing trauma,” she said.

“I think of the hundreds of families who moved to Saskatchewan following the war in Syria. So ensuring that newcomers are supported and welcomed, of which I have no doubt, will be critical.”

Moe is also looking for unanimous support for a motion he introduced in the legislature on Monday that supports Ukraine and condemns Russia.

“Your courage and determination are an inspiration to us all. We unequivocally condemn this unprovoked and illegal invasion,” he said in a statement.

“Democracy and freedom are under attack and it is our hope that the whole world will stand up to Russia and say no.”

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Click to play video: 'Mass exodus from Ukraine continues' Mass exodus from Ukraine continues
Mass exodus from Ukraine continues – Mar 8, 2022

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