Ukrainians trying to come to Canada say measures in place aren’t quick and helpful
Posted March 28, 2022 5:00 pm.
Last Updated March 29, 2022 9:56 am.
As the war enters its second month, the humanitarian crisis worsens, with millions of Ukrainians forced out of their homes due to Russian attacks. Many are seeking safe haven in Western countries including Canada.
“Canada has been all over the news, all over the world, as it is being receptive to refugees coming from Ukraine, but that is not the case, that is not what’s happening,” said Tetyana Haraschuk, seeking safe haven for her family who fled Ukraine.
Earlier this month, CityNews shared the horrifying story of former Winnipeg woman Tetyana Haraschuk’s cousins fleeing Ukraine.
They are now safe in Poland, but Haraschuk wants to have them seek refuge in Canada. However, she says with everything they have been through, the process to apply for a Canadian Visa is confusing.
“For one of my family members, we applied before this program was in place, and it still hasn’t come through. It’s going to be close to a month,” Haraschuk explained.
On March 17, applications for the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel was opened by the federal government allowing Ukrainians to start applying to come to Canada, but Nick Krawetz says there are easier ways to do this.
“They should allow Ukrainians to come here through an electronic travel authorization, which can be done in minutes. Then once they are here, out of harm’s way, in safety, then they can have the time period to regularize their position,” explained Krawetz, advocating for visa-free entries for Ukrainians into Canada.
But Krawetz says there is a major backlog, and the time for Ukrainians to come over may span weeks or even months.
Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said the federal government considered waiving visa-free entries for Ukrainians, but that process was rejected.
CityNews reached out to Minister Fraser asking why the decision hasn’t been overturned, but we have not yet received a response.
“Why aren’t Ukrainians being treated the same and why isn’t our government cutting the red tape to get them to safety to their family and loved ones and why aren’t they supporting them upon arrival? Right now, the federal government is providing zero support to them upon arrival and frankly, it’s shameful,” said Krawetz.
As it stands, each province is responsible for how they will handle the influx of Ukrainians.
Haraschuk says she is beyond frustrated. She says her family may avoid coming to Canada altogether.
“Every country in Europe is doing a better job than Canada because every country in Europe has some kind of support for refugees coming into those countries. But Canada does not. Canada does not offer a refugee program for Ukrainians.”