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Vernon family plans for Ukrainian refugee arrival as Russia presses on into country

Grygoriy Dyma will welcome his goddaughter and several other youth until the war in Ukraine subsides
Russian-Canadians supporting their brothers and sisters in Ukraine (Jacqueline Gelineau - Capital News)

Several Ukrainian residents will find refuge in Vernon next month.

Grygoriy Dyma is a Ukrainian-Canadian who has opened his home to his friends and family escaping conflict in Ukraine. His goddaughter is one person expected to stay with him while Russia continues attacks on their home nation.

She will be travelling to Canada alone. Her father is in the military in Kyiv and her mother has made the difficult decision to stay with him.

“She doesn’t want to leave him behind,” said Dyma.

The federal government is introducing new immigration streams for Ukrainians who want to come to Canada.

Ukrainians, like Dyma’s goddaughter, looking to come to Canada are eligible to use the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel.

The expedited process eliminates many of the normal visa requirements, making entry into Canada easier.

Dyma said that his goddaughter and the four to five other people arriving in April are only planning to be in Canada temporarily. His home will be full of mostly young people and a grandmother travelling with the children, said Dyma.

Thankfully, they will be arriving in time for spring and summer in the Okanagan, said Dyma.

He said that he plans on taking the youth that will be staying with him on fun outdoor adventures while they are here.

“To have some fun,” he said.

Dyma said that many of his friends back home are in the territorial defence army and the Ukrainian military, in Kyiv. They have reported to him that they want civilians to leave the city and “let us do our job.”

The people coming to stay with him have relocated out of Kyiv to West Ukraine and Poland.

They hope to fly to Canada from Poland or Germany, as soon as their applications have been processed, said Dyma.

Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada has established a dedicated service channel for Ukrainian immigration enquiries that is available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243. Clients can add the keyword “Ukraine2022” to the IRCC crisis web form with their inquiry and it will be prioritized.

Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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