Non-profit organization calls on Canada to honor pledges of financial support for Ukrainian refugees

A local Ukrainian support group wonders where and when federal funding is coming for Ukrainian refugees.

On April 9, Canada announced that Ukrainian refugees are eligible for two weeks of hotel accommodation and six weeks of income support of $500 per week.

None of these commitments have yet been fulfilled.

“It’s been 10 days, why commit and not follow up?” said Denys Storozhuk, president of Kelowna alongside Ukraine.

“We have tens of thousands of people, who have already received their visas, and when they arrive, they will not receive any funding for hotel accommodation. What are they supposed to do, stay on the street? It’s a big problem that nothing happens.

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Storozhuk said he was in constant contact with local MLA Tracy Gray, asking her for information on support funding.

In an email response from the MP for Kelowna-lake Country to Storozhuk, Gray said: “We have not yet verified how and when Ukrainians will be able to access temporary hotel accommodation for up to two weeks and income support. At this point, there is still no information on a few of the points that were raised in the federal government’s announcement.

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Newly arrived refugees Valeri and Olena Zolotukhin landed in Kelowna on Wednesday.

They said Kelowna Stands With Ukraine found them housing and helped them settle into the community.

“We enlisted the help of our friend Denys and his organization Kelowna Stands With Ukraine. He helped us reach his pastor and he gave us his house yesterday,” Valeri Zolotukhin said.

“Thanks to him and his wife for this, and now our plan is to find a place to rent to start our new life.”

The couple also said they are extremely grateful to be in Canada and plan to open a Ukrainian grocery store as soon as possible. Part of their earnings, they say, will be donated to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.

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