The Alberta government plans to set up a hotline for Ukrainian evacuees seeking help with provincial services when they arrive. The help desk is expected to be operational by mid-April and will employ Ukrainian and Russian speakers to help newcomers with tasks like applying for health insurance and completing applications.
At a recent press conference in Mundare, Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism said: “Many evacuees do not have any family or friends here to help them navigate information systems, and especially in a new language.”
The hotline is one of the plans proposed by a premier’s task force on Ukraine, which will cost around $2.1 million this year. Premier Danielle Smith and Sawhney disclosed that around $1 million of this funding will be deployed to providing information to Ukrainians before they arrive in Alberta.
This funding is different from the $7 million allocated over three years to back settlement agencies in charge of the influx of newcomers to Alberta. Since the invasion started in February 2022, over 26,500 people who fled the war in Ukraine have arrived in Alberta as temporary residents.
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