All publications of Mujaffor Hussen . Toronto , Canada
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says the goal of the Aeroplan fund is to pay for flights to Canada for at least 10,000 Ukrainians and their families who have received entry permits.
This program will be in addition to the targeted charter flights to transport Ukrainians to Canada, announced earlier by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
More than 54,000 Ukrainians have already received permission to come to Canada, where they can live, work or study for three years.
Reception of donations began on April 20, but details on how Ukrainians will be able to receive money will not be known until a few weeks later.
The program will be managed by the charity Miles4Migrants, the Shapiro Foundation and Air Canada.
Miles4Migrants will help Ukrainians book commercial flights to Canada using donated funds or Aeroplan points on a first come, first served basis.
Miles4Migrants expects people to be able to use the Aeroplan program and fly to Canada for free as early as next month.
At a press conference, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said that a corporate partnership with Air Canada is “one of the most efficient and effective ways Ukrainian refugees can travel to Canada,” especially given that Ukrainians have spread across Europe after fleeing their country.
“It would be hard for me to find a more efficient or effective way to help as many people as possible,” he said.
Frazier said the system is better than directly offering cash to people who are thinking about coming to Canada, as they can change their mind and use the funds for other purposes.
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Canada and "a number" of allies withdrew from Russia's participation in Wednesday's group plenary session of the G20 finance ministers' meeting.
In a series of tweets, Freeland condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and said that since the G20 meeting was about the global economy, Russia should not be allowed to attend.
Russia's unprovoked and bloody invasion of Ukraine, a sovereign democracy, has unleashed global economic turmoil in recent weeks, exacerbating the pressure on many areas of life already under strain amid the pandemic.
Freeland's spokesman called the Russian invasion "a serious threat to the global economy that will drive up food and fuel prices and hit the most vulnerable among us hardest."
Today Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, US Secretary of State Janet Yellen and a number of other democratic partner countries left the G20 plenary meeting when the Russian delegation tried to intervene."
Now Russian troops are concentrated in the eastern region of Ukraine, preparing for an offensive in the Donbass.
But the port city of Mariupol is also in the center of world attention as a Russian ultimatum to Ukrainian commanders, warning them to surrender or die, expires.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that there was no mass surrender, but the commander of a unit believed to be being held in the besieged city said his troops could only hold out for a few days or hours.