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War in Ukraine | Montreal prepares to welcome Ukrainian refugees

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The City of Montreal has taken the necessary steps to welcome refugees arriving from Ukraine.

“Since the beginning of the conflict, our administration has been fully mobilized to support the two [ordres] of government in the reception and integration of Ukrainian migrants, all options are currently being assessed. An action plan in the event of a migration crisis has been drawn up to properly coordinate our actions in this type of situation. It is currently in operation and is operated by our Office for the Integration of Newcomers to Montreal (BINAM),” said Alia Hassan-Cournol, municipal councilor associated with the mayor, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and international affairs, late Thursday afternoon in a written statement.

“Montreal is ready to welcome nationals, our teams are fully mobilized in this regard and the consultation bodies are active in the file, including the advisory committee for migrants with precarious immigration status. »

A little earlier, the opposition at City Hall demanded a municipal action plan for the reception of Ukrainian refugees, in particular an online form to identify offers of assistance, whether for accommodation or for donations, since the Montreal population will have to be called upon to support newcomers.

The leader of the Ensemble Montreal party, Aref Salem, spoke about his own immigration experience to emphasize the importance of preparing now. “I myself immigrated to Montreal in 1990, because of the war in Lebanon, and I know that it is extremely difficult to be uprooted, to leave everything, to lose everything, and to start a new life. in another country, he said. It is extremely traumatic. There are people who have lost everything in Ukraine, who can no longer return home. »

Ukrainian refugees will have nothing when they arrive in Canada, he recalls. They will need housing, food, money, possibly francization and work. “We have already experienced this with the Syrian refugees in 2015, we had set up a crisis unit to welcome the 25,000 refugees”, he recalls.

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