Quebec's union of municipalities (UMQ) says its cities are ready to welcome families from Ukraine fleeing the violent, Russian armed conflict that has been raging for nearly two weeks in their country.

The president of the UMQ and mayor of Gaspé, Daniel Côté, says Quebec's communities are well-equipped to help refugees gain access to psychological support, find a home and integrate into the job market.

Côté identified 14 cities as places of first settlement: Montreal, Quebec City, Trois-Rivières, Laval, Longueuil, Sherbrooke, Gatineau, Granby, Victoriaville, Joliette, Saint-Hyacinthe, Drummondville, Saint-Jérôme and Rimouski.

Côté says he spoke with Jean Boulet, who serves as both Quebec's labour and immigration minister, to invite him to participate in a meeting with municipalities that want to help refugees.

The president of the UMQ says he wants to ensure that each person who arrives in Quebec is well received and well accompanied when they land in the province.

More than one million Ukrainians have fled their communities since Russia invaded their homeland.


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-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on March 8, 2022.