Closing remarks at the Stand Up for Ukraine pledging event
Thank you, Isha. Thank you all. To everyone who contributed to the Stand Up for Ukraine event. You’re making a real difference. Your efforts are saving lives. And of course, Canada will continue doing its part as well.
Like the other countries making announcements, I can announce a new $100-million contribution bringing our total humanitarian assistance to $245 million since the start of the year. We’ll also provide over 345,000 essential relief items like blankets and mattresses to help those who need it the most. This is in addition to the $620 million in financial assistance we’ve already provided to Ukraine. With another $1 billion in support still to come for Ukraine’s economic resilience.
Canada is home to the second largest Ukrainian community in the world after Russia.
I’m talking to you today from the Canadian Museum of History. You’ll have seen behind me a church. Well, it’s St. Onuphrius Church, which is a consecrated Ukrainian Catholic church that was built more than a hundred years ago in the Canadian Prairies by some of those early Ukrainian settlers who came to Canada. It’s a reminder that Canadians and Ukrainians share strong historical ties like so many countries around the world.
Canada is always ready to welcome refugees and newcomers from all around the world. In March, we invested $117 million to put special immigration measures in place for those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
We have expanded support and services to help them settle in when they arrive. And we have created a pathway to temporary permanent residency to allow Ukrainians to work, study and remain in Canada.
In less than a month, we have approved 30,000 applications. And we’re continuing to do more to help today.
We’re continuing to look at ways to support Ukrainians who want to come to Canada and need financial help to make it happen. We’re leveraging relationships with commercial airlines to organize a number of targeted charter flights in the coming weeks. And we’ll provide up to two weeks of hotel accommodation for those who need it on arrival.
When violence forces people to leave their country rapidly, it’s important to make sure they have what they need while they settle into the new communities. That’s why we’ll set up short-term income support to help Ukrainian refugees get on their feet. And we’re working with Canadians provincial governments and partners all over our country to ensure Ukrainians have a warm reception when they arrive.
These are efforts that Canada is doing. But countries around the world, particularly in Europe, are stepping up in all these ways as well. Because this is a moment where the world needs to come together to stand up for Ukraine and stand up for our values and principles. Remembering that everyone deserves to be safe. So, let’s continue to be there for each other my friends. And let’s all continue to stand up for Ukraine and for the values that we all believe in deeply.
Thank you very much.