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A program to donate Aeroplan points and bring Ukrainians to Canada | War in Ukraine

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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser announced Wednesday in Halifax the creation of a Ukraine-Canada Travel Fund, developed in partnership with Miles4Migrants, the Shapiro Foundation and Air Canada.

Minister Fraser says the program will fund air travel to Canada for at least 10,000 Ukrainians and their families. Ukrainian nationals who will benefit from it will have to hold a valid Canadian travel document and have been authorized to come to the country.

Air Canada is donating 100 million Aeroplan points to this program. Air Canada’s vice-president of government relations, David Rheault, said Ukrainians who will benefit from these donations will have access to flights from other airlines.

Our contribution [leur] will allow […] to have access not only to the Air Canada network but also to those of our various Star Alliance partners, for example Lufthansa, LOT Polish Airlines, Swiss and United Airlineshe said.

For its part, the Shapiro Foundation is committed to matching the contributions made by Canadians up to 50 million points.

The Canadian government will soon provide more information on this initiative, which is in addition to those already in place to provide Ukrainians a safe haven while the illegal and unprovoked war continues in their countryMinister Fraser’s office wrote in a press release.

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Canadians and Canadian businesses can donate money now through the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto. However, details of how Ukrainians eligible for the program will be able to access this money will be detailed in a few weeks.

Leaning over her cane and surrounded by other refugees, an elderly lady cries as she sits on a bed in a shelter.

An elderly lady cries in a restaurant converted into a shelter for people fleeing war in Dnipro, eastern Ukraine.

Photo: Associated Press/Leo Correa

An initiative laughableaccording to the opposition

The Bloc Québécois immigration critic, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, ridiculed the Trudeau government’s announcement and recalled its promise to offer charter flights to Ukrainians wishing to reach Canada.

While a war is raging in Ukraine, causing the displacement of millions of people, and after weeks of asking the federal government to do its part by chartering planes to bring Ukrainians to Quebec and Canada, the Minister announces today today an Aeroplan points program. It would be laughable if it weren’t [pas] so sadhe reacted in writing.

Ottawa has pledged to charter flights for Ukrainians whose cases have been approved under the Canada-Ukraine Emergency Travel Authorization (CUATU).

This program aims to quickly provide temporary three-year residency to Ukrainians and their immediate families. Sean Fraser said Wednesday that more than 54,000 applications have been approved so far.

With regard to charter flights, the minister said that the work is continuing. However, according to him, the best way to meet the needs of all is through a combination with commercial flights.

The fact that Ukrainians are in various countries in Europe complicates the situation if only charter flights are used, he said.

Of course, the program announced today will undoubtedly allow many people to change their plans and decide whether they will take a government chartered flight or whether they will opt for another commercial flight.said Mr. Fraser.

The Minister added that in order to better plan the next steps, Ottawa is awaiting responses to a survey in which Ukrainians authorized to come to Canada with AVUCU were able to specify where they were.

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