Newfoundland and Labrador preparing to welcome planeload of 175 Ukrainian refugees

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A plane chartered by the Newfoundland and Labrador government is scheduled to arrive Monday carrying roughly 175 Ukrainian refugees.

Immigration Minister Gerry Byrne says everyone on the plane has a place to stay when they arrive, thanks to the efforts of government workers in the province and on the ground in Warsaw, Poland.

Byrne and Premier Andrew Furey announced on March 17 that the province was opening a four-person office in Warsaw to help Ukrainians fleeing Russian attacks relocate to Newfoundland and Labrador.

He said in an interview today that the Warsaw office has so far been in contact with more than 300 Ukrainians who are either in the process of relocating to the province or are seriously considering it.

Michael Holden lives in St. John's and runs a 2,000-member Facebook group dedicated to helping Ukrainians find jobs and places to live in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Holden said in an interview today he feels Newfoundland and Labrador has much to offer Ukrainians looking for a rural, seaside lifestyle — and that Ukrainians have a lot to contribute to a province with a dwindling rural population.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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