The Ukrainian Canadian Council is preparing for thousands of fleeing Ukrainians soon arrive in Manitoba.
For the second time in 10 years, Olha Fedorova had to flee her home due to wars in Ukraine. She arrived in Winnipeg on April 21, reuniting with her two daughters living in the city.
‘’It was really spontaneous,” Fedorova told CTV News with the help of her daughter who translated Fedorova’s comments from Russian. “My mom and father decided it very, very quickly.”
Fedorova’s husband is currently fighting in Ukraine. Needing to work to come to Canada, Fedorova applied and got an interior design job through a new Economic Development Winnipeg Ukrainian job match program
Architecture49 Managing Principal Lee McCormick says the position had been open for months before she applied.
“It was very serendipitous,” McCormick said, encouraging other businesses to sign up and hire Ukrainians. “It’ll make a difference – one person at a time.”
Fedorova has a three-year work permit but is planning to stay in Canada with her husband once he can leave Ukraine.
“(I hope) that the war will stop soon and our country – they will rebuild it and it will have a good future,” Fedorova said through her daughter’s translations.
So far 450 Ukrainians like Fedorova have signed up through a job matching program to get work in the province.
Economic Development Winnipeg CEO Dayna Spiring says the Economic Development Winnipeg Job Connections Portal connects people from other countries to Manitoban jobs, including Ukrainians.
“When we’ve heard about all the challenges facing Ukrainians, we know they are skilled, they are very educated,” Spiring said. “There are a lot of opportunities for them to work for Manitoban companies.”
Nick Krawetz, a volunteer with Ukrainian Canadian Congress said ‘’this is just another tool in the toolbox that is specifically tailored to Manitoba.”
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress is expecting many more Ukrainians to arrive in Manitoba in May and June.
“We are planning to welcome hundreds if not a few thousand Ukrainians to Manitoba,” Krawetz said.
The Province of Manitoba says it is difficult to track the exact number of Ukrainians who have arrived in Manitoba. Since April 19, 156 Ukrainians have visited the province’s reception centre.
In a statement sent to CTV News, the province says its Ukrainian Refugee Task Force’s mission is to “ensure that a full range of available provincial service supports is available to Ukrainians fleeing this brutal war of aggression when they get here.”
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