Manitoba opens new reception hub to help people arriving from Ukraine

The province has opened a reception centre to help people fleeing Ukraine to settle in Manitoba.

New provincial reception centre will help Ukranians sign up for services, health care and find accommodations

Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russia's invasion of Ukraine wait after arriving on a train from Odesa at Przemysl Glowny train station, Poland, April 9, 2022. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

The province has opened a new reception centre to help people fleeing Ukraine settle in Manitoba.

The reception centre, located near the Richardson International Airport in Winnipeg, opened Tuesday.

"We'll help each one of the people that have come in with developing a settlement plan," said Ostap Skrypnyk, with the Ukranian Canadian Congress (UCC), Manitoba Council.

 "How to start looking for accommodation, how to get your child registered to school, all the things, driver's licence, all the things that we normally would do on our own but that people need ... direction to help them begin the job. Some of those things will be done there at the reception centre so they don't have to go to the different offices." 

Clothing and cellphone SIM cards are also on hand for newcomers.

Skrypnyk says volunteers with the council will be on hand at the reception centre to assist as needed.

"There may be a need for language services, we'll have some volunteers there that speak Ukrainian, which will help if there's a rush if there's lots of clients coming in at the same time." 

Winnipeg airport welcome booth

A welcome booth has been set up at the Winnipeg airport to greet and direct Ukrainians to government and community services. (CBC)

A welcome booth staffed by UCC volunteers has also been set up at the airport to greet people as they arrive, provide information on government programs and direct them to the new reception hub, Skrypnyk added.

He says over the past couple of days, 30 people have arrived in Winnipeg from Ukraine and they expect many hundreds more in the coming weeks.

Skrypnyk says their main concern is helping people who have no connection to the province have an easier time settling in.

With files from Jérémie Bergeron