Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

Saskatoon welcomed 230 Ukrainian refugees to the city on the province’s fourth humanitarian flight on Wednesday.

3,000 Ukrainian refugees have now arrived in the province since the war began, but this is the first flight to land in Saskatoon.

The plane landed at John G. Diefenbaker International Airport in Saskatoon on November 23 at around 3:50 p.m. Legislative Secretary for Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations Terry Dennis, as well as Legislative Secretary for Immigration and Career Training Terry Jenson, were at the airport to welcome the new arrivals.

“All are ready as the Government of Saskatchewan works with settlement organizations and community partners to welcome more than 200 Ukrainians to Saskatoon later today,” Dennis said.

“Thanks to a coordinated effort between the Government of Saskatchewan, Solitaire and Open Arms, Saskatchewan is now home to approximately 3,000 displaced Ukrainians. We will continue to support Ukraine and its people as long as necessary.”

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More than 2,000 Ukrainian refugees in Saskatchewan, province says

“Saskatchewan experienced an overwhelming response to the fourth application period, with all 230 slots in the fourth flight filled within four days,” said Immigration and Education Minister Jeremy Harrison in a previous press release.

“The Government of Saskatchewan is ready for the next wave of Ukrainian families with full support for their upcoming arrival. Saskatchewan will continue to support Ukraine and its people for as long as necessary.”

Click to play video: 'More than 2,000 Ukrainian refugees in Saskatchewan, province says'

More than 2,000 Ukrainian refugees in Saskatchewan, province says

Global News spoke to an anonymous Ukrainian man at the airport who was holding a bouquet of roses. He was waiting for his wife to arrive on the flight after they had been separated for more than a year.

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“I have been in Canada for more than a year, and the last time I saw my wife was in Ukraine. Now we will be together live in Saskatoon,” the man said emotionally. “I’m happy. It was a really long time and I left my family behind.”

“It feels good that we can do it, but it feels very bad that we have to,” said Enrique Bineyro, a humanitarian flight pilot.

Bineyro has completed all of Ukraine’s current humanitarian flights, as well as approximately 20 other flights around the world, carrying refugees from places like North Africa and Afghanistan.

“Canadian hospitality is legendary,” Bineyro said. “I was really impressed with how well people were received in Canada. It was really moving because I’m used to other things.”

He said that by bringing in numerous flights of refugees, Canada is setting an example to the world.

This is the fourth of five humanitarian flights planned to help Ukraine in Saskatchewan.

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