Fraser says the charter flights are in addition to commercial options available to Ukrainians fleeing war in their home country and subsidized by a special fund.
The government says thousands of Ukrainians have arrived in Canada since Russian forces first attacked in late February, and Fraser says it’s unclear how many more will come.
“We’ve seen around 92,000 approvals through the contingency program so far largely since the end of March and it’s now being processed fairly quickly, so I expect that number to continue to rise,” he said. he told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s hard to predict where it’s going to end up because what we’re hearing on the ground is that there are a lot of people taking it out on a speculative basis so to speak to monitor the situation on the ground in Ukraine, to figure out if that’s something they’re going to have to take advantage of.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the government continues to face logistical challenges in helping Ukrainians who want to flee to Canada.
“One of the challenges is that people who applied for visas weren’t where they were, they applied for visas,” he said.
He says “it took – and it continues to take – a lot of effort to determine where the candidates are, where they can go from” and where they want to settle in Canada.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 11, 2022.
The Canadian Press