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Immigration minister says Ukrainian refugees could remain in Canada for 'at least a few years'


As the head of NATO warns the war in Ukraine could last for years, the federal minister responsible for refugees says Ukrainians fleeing the conflict could be in Canada for some time.

“War is absolute chaos,” said Sean Fraser, Canada’s minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship (IRCC) in an interview with CTV Atlantic Sunday.

“No matter how long it might take, if we believe in the values of territorial integrity of nations, of the self-determination of peoples and of the sovereignty of states, then we have to breathe life into those actions.”

Fraser, the MP for Central Nova, says there are currently more than 32,000 Ukrainian refugees in Canada, and for the majority of them, the transition to life in a new country has “gone well.”

IRCC is working with different levels of government, non-profits and the private sector to set Ukrainians up for success in Canada “because they could be here for certainly at least a few years,” said Fraser.

With hundreds of thousands of job vacancies across the country, Fraser says the majority of Ukrainians he’s spoken to have signed up for work or study permits.

“They don’t want to be charity cases when they arrive. They say, ‘You’ve been kind enough to welcome me to your country, I’m going to make a contribution.’”

Financial supports for Ukrainian refugees range from $3,000 for adults to $1,500 for children.

While those payments are available one time only, Fraser says his agency is working with partners in both the private and public sector to make sure Ukrainians continue to be supported.

“It’s one thing to get them here,” he said. “We’ll be far better off in the long run if we do it the right way and support them after they land in Canada.” Top Stories

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