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Quebec places no limit to the number of Ukrainian refugees that province can receive


There is no limit to the number of Ukrainian refugees that Quebec is ready to receive, the province's immigration minister  said Monday.

Immigration Minister Jean Boulet was in Montreal to announce nearly $5 million in grants for 14 community organizations open to the reception, integration and francization of newcomers.

The minister said he does not yet know how many Ukrainian refugees Quebec will be called upon to receive or when they will start arriving, as the process is in Ottawa's jurisdiction. Although he is in contact with his federal counterpart Sean Fraser, Boulet explained that it is still too early to know the answer to these questions.


"We don't have an estimate," said Boulet. "I was talking to Mr. Fraser about it. We don't have a limit."

Mobilization is underway to prepare to receive refugees. The minister explained that some 95 organizations are on alert and that the recruitment of Ukrainian and Russian speakers is well underway.

"We will welcome them in their own language," said Boulet. "We will give them the tools to integrate as soon as possible and we will interview them to determine their needs."

On Friday, during another announcement aimed at supporting immigrant families in terms of access to public and community social services, particularly in terms of youth protection and assistance to young people in difficulty, the minister indicated his intention to help facilitate obtaining a health insurance card, a driver's licence, and school and daycare registration, particularly for Ukrainian refugees.


Boulet said that the first objective will be to help these refugees adapt to their new situation after having to flee the Russian invasion that is ravaging their country.

"These are people who will be affected," he said. "They live in fear, they live in circumstances that are particularly traumatic. We have seen, especially through the media, the extremely traumatic human experiences of many people. We will make sure to welcome them properly, in a dignified and humane manner."

As for the announcement made on Monday in the East End of Montreal, the assistance comes from Component 2 of the Community Adjustment Program (CAP) announced last October.

The program is aimed at non-profit organizations (NPOs) and cooperatives working in the newcomer integration field. It has an envelope of just over $23 million, from which approximately $5 million will be used to put into the program announced Monday.

The minister explained that the organizations' projects are aimed not only at direct intervention with immigrants but also with the institutions responsible for receiving them.

As an example, he highlighted a project implemented in 13 regions where "they do intercultural training. (...) We inform and train. Who are we training? The health network, the education network, the community world, businesses, citizens to the reality of immigrants," he said.


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-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on March 7, 2022. Top Stories

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