Canada could accept upwards of one million Ukrainian refugees: memo

The Immigration Levels Plan fixed a quota of 365,000 immigrants this year, another 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. Only 4,500 Ukrainians have immigrated to Canada through regular programs, reported Blacklock's Reporter.

Canada could accept upwards of one million Ukrainian refugees: memo
Facebook/ Sean Fraser and Facebook/ Vlodymir Zelensky
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According to an Immigration Canada memo, there is 'no limit' to the number of Ukrainian refugees Parliament could permit into Canada.

While over 1.1 million Ukrainians have applied for temporary residency in Canada to escape the war against Russia, Blacklock's Reporter learned that only 166,849 Ukrainians have come as of July 1. 

"There is no limit [to how many refugees we will accept]," said a memo, "Information On Ukrainian Nationals Coming To Canada." The United Nations Refugee Agency estimates more than 6.3 million refugees have fled Ukraine.

Since last February, Immigration Canada has approved nearly 793,804 visas through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program.

Each person who successfully applied for the free emergency travel permits received cash grants of $3,000 per adult, waivers on visa fees, free work and study permits for three years and two weeks of paid accommodation at a hotel. 

Ukrainian refugees who sought temporary refuge in Canada can now seek permanent residency starting in the fall.

Effective October 23, those Ukrainian refugees who applied before July 15 and with a Canadian citizen in their extended family will be allowed to seek permanent residency. Details on the expedited pathway to permanent residence remain "under development." 

However, the plan fixed a quota of 365,000 immigrants this year, another 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. Only 4,500 Ukrainians have immigrated to Canada through regular programs, reported Blacklock's Reporter.

The federal government has given others with approved visas until next March 31 to travel to Canada under the extraordinary measures.

Those seeking permanent residency have until the same day to extend or adjust their temporary status, free of charge. Families eligible for Ottawa's new pathway to permanent residence have until October 22, 2024, to apply.

"Those who come to Canada on Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel are not included in the Immigration Levels Plan, which is a projection of the number of permanent residents Canada plans to admit," said the memo. 

"We extend… a lifeline to families separated by this conflict, including through this family reunification pathway that will help Ukrainian families stay together as they rebuild their lives in…Canada," Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told reporters last week.

On April 12, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is of Ukrainian heritage, pledged to continue funding Ukraine until it "wins the war." After committing to additional loans and grants in Budget 2023, taxpayer aid to the war-torn country nears $9 billion and counting.

"We will be there until Ukraine wins the war," said Freeland, adding that cabinet has rejected any limit on aid.

"Ukrainians right now are fighting for the fundamentals of democracy, for the U.N. Charter — for the values and principles that underpin our country and so many others," added Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then.

According to an internal Department of Finance poll published by Blacklock's Reporter, fewer than a third (32%) of Canadians support more financial aid for Ukraine. 36% of Canadians oppose ongoing help, whereas 33% have no opinion.

"I know all Canadians are inspired by the [courageous] people of Ukraine," said Freeland, who did not reference the Research On The State Of The Economy poll in her remarks.

Ottawa's budget document, A Made In Canada Plan, said current loans, grants and military aid to Ukrainians totalled $5.4 billion with "an additional loan of $2.4 billion for 2023." Cabinet also proposed an additional $200 million in military aid and $84.8 million in civilian assistance to pay Ukrainian pensions and deliver essential services to the country.

Trudeau announced $500 million more in military aid for the war-torn nation last month, and an additional $541 million earlier in July.

"It's one thing to promise the money. It's another thing for that money to hit Ukrainian bank accounts," said Freeland on August 25. "You don't need to trust me about this."

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