Free flights: only 800 out of 10,000 Ukrainians were able to register | War in Ukraine

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Free flights: only 800 out of 10,000 Ukrainians were able to register | War in Ukraine

A first round of registrations for these flights paid for with donations of Aeroplan points was launched in June, for 500 Ukrainians.

The initiative announced in April by the federal government to provide Ukrainians fleeing the war with free flights to Canada has so far enabled only 800 people to get there. x27;register for it, a tiny fraction of the promised 10,000 tickets.

A first batch of registrations for these flights paid for with donations of Aeroplan points has been launched in June for 500 Ukrainians.

Since then, the organization responsible for the program's logistics, Miles4Migrants, only opened registration to 300 more people earlier this week. Of the 500 Ukrainians registered in the first round of 500 seats, 385 were able to book their flights, the charity told The Canadian Press.

Miles4Migrants said it plans to make 300 new tickets available to Ukrainians every two weeks and expects to maintain this pace in the short term. Asked to indicate when it intends to open registrations to more people, the organization did not respond.

We believe that making 300 tickets available every two weeks will allow us to offer the best experience to passengers, based on our existing resources, justified the organization's co-founder, Andy Freedman, in a written statement.

“We hope to increase this number in the future based on factors such as the end of the summer travel season, increased flight availability and proper travel documentation for passengers”

— Andy Freedman, co-founder Miles4Migrants

Asked that only 300 people can register every two weeks rather than 500 in the first round that occurred in June, Miles4Migrants said they have revised the number down after learning a lot about the operational process and efforts. required to manage [each]'s flight booking individually.

Questioned if the Trudeau government is satisfied with the rate at which free plane tickets are being made available, the Immigration Minister Sean Fraser's office skirted the issue.

[Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada] is grateful for this partnership and innovative initiative to support people fleeing war in Ukraine. We look forward to continuing this important work by continuing to welcome some of the world's most vulnerable, said Mr Fraser's press secretary Aidan Strickland.

The Minister was unavailable for an interview with The Canadian Press on Friday.

In the eyes of conservatives, it is clear that the government has failed to help Ukrainians with this partnership with Air Canada, Miles4Migrants and other charities such as the Shapiro Foundation.

The Liberal government has failed to learn from its failures in Afghanistan and continues to leave our Ukrainian allies fleeing violence waiting in limbo for months, their critic for justice wrote in a response. ;immigration, Jasraj Singh Hallan.

The Bloc's spokesperson on these issues, Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, also sees it as a failure. He criticizes Ottawa for bragging about this initiative which it announced with great fanfare while assuming no role in the management of the program to ensure its effectiveness. At some point you have to take responsibility and you can't just be in the picture. It takes results. And right now, what I see is that there are no results and there is a lot of image, commented the MP.

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The same goes for New Democrat Heather McPherson, who also wants the government to get involved in the logistics of the program. This leaves the impression of another example [showing] that this government wants to make flashy announcements without doing the necessary work.

Miles4Migrants is handling the logistics of an Ottawa-announced partnership with Air Canada and charities such as the Shapiro Foundation. The purpose of the initiative is to finance, through a fundraising in Aeroplan points and cash, the air transport of 10,000 Ukrainians wishing to reach Canada.

Only Ukrainian nationals who already have a permit to stay in Canada, such as under the Canada-Ukraine Emergency Travel Authorization (AVUCU), are eligible.

< p class="e-p">AVUCU provides three-year temporary residency in Canada to Ukrainians and their immediate family members. According to the most recent data published by the federal government, 276,338 people received a residence permit under this program.

Also according to Ottawa statistics, a little more than 67,600 Ukrainians have arrived in Canada since last January. They were able to make their own way while approximately 900 nationals were able to board three flights chartered by Justin Trudeau's government.

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