Over four million Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes and fled the war-torn country following Russia's invasion over a month ago.

Kenora resident Peter Kirby has set up an information session for Monday night (April 4, 2022) to see if Kenora residents would be willing to house Ukrainian refugees that are making their way to Canada.

Kirby created this meeting in light of speaking with local residents and seeing the potential for Kenora to be a centre for welcoming refugees.

“I know there are people out there who are interested there’s no doubt about that,” said Kirby. “The question is whether or not people are prepared to commit to the cause and put their time and resources and energy into it.”

The meeting will take place on Monday night at 5:00 p.m. at St. Alban’s Hall (312 Main St S). People who are interested can contact Kirby at 807-468-5930.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, threatening the independence of 44 million residents. The United Nations says over four million refugees have fled the country, and as of March 6, 2022, thousands are believed to have been killed or injured through the conflict.

Having experience in helping refugees settle into Kenora, Kirby believes people in the community would want to help.

“I talked to a couple of people in the Ukrainian community to see if anything was being done and I didn’t see anything being done. There’s no way Poland can support two million of those four million people for any lengthy period of time. I know that people in Kenora would be happy to help out.”

Russian troops began closing on the capital city of Kyiv on February 28, 2022. The 40-mile long armoured convoy is continuing to make its way towards the capital but was being slowed down by Ukrainian forces.

On March 30, 2022, the federal government announced that Canada is offering temporary federal support to help Ukrainians settle in their new communities. Settlement Program services, which are typically only available to permanent residents, will soon be extended until March 31, 2023, for temporary residents in Canada eligible under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET).

Starting in early April 2022, the Canadian Red Cross, in support of the Government of Canada, will provide arrival services at the Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver international airports.

This support includes providing translation services, as well as information in their language of choice to help connect Ukrainians with government and community services.

Donations can be made below:

- Red Cross Canada

- National Bank of Ukraine

- Winnipeg’s Oseredok Ukranian Cultural and Education Centre