REGINA - A fourth humanitarian flight of displaced Ukrainians to Saskatchewan is now set, and this time it is Saskatoon that is the destination.
The province has confirmed the flight from Warsaw, Poland to Saskatchewan is scheduled to land at John G. Diefenbaker Airport on Nov. 23. This is the first flight to Saskatoon, after three previous flights this year that landed in Regina.
As was the case for the previous flights, it is being arranged by the province in partnership with humanitarian organizations Solidaire and Open Arms.
On Thursday, Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison announced that registration is now open for the flight.
“In Saskatchewan here, we are able and fortunate to be able to provide a safe place, whether that be for the next number of months or years,” said Harrison.
Unlike the last two flights from Warsaw which saw connecting flights make the final leg to Regina, this will be a direct flight as the Saskatoon airport will be set up to handle the arrival of the Boeing 787.
Harrison said some accommodations have been made to be able to handle the 787 on the ground. He cited work put in by the airport authorities and by the government so that the plane could land there.
It is estimated the latest flight will bring about 200 people to Saskatchewan from Ukraine, which continues to be ravaged by the Russian invasion that began in February.
The province is pledging that the new arrivals will have access to temporary accommodations as well as services, support and information to help them getting settled in Saskatchewan. The indication from Harrison is they look to replicate the one-stop-shop setup similar to what they have had in Regina, though a location is not finalized yet.
The one-stop-shop would offer services such as setting up health cards, drivers licenses, working with employers on job opportunities, and so on. Harrison called it a model “that has worked really well and has differentiated Saskatchewan as a destination for Ukrainian refugees.”
Harrison also told reporters a fifth flight to Saskatchewan will follow “relatively quickly” after the fourth one. Wherever that flight lands, Regina or Saskatoon, Harrison said they will be able to have a direct flight from Warsaw going forward.