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Border agents ready to expedite the arrival of Ukrainians in Canada | War in Ukraine

According to information obtained by Radio-Canada, border agents are ready to speed up this process by offering to collect the biometric data of Ukrainians themselves.

We support the idea of ​​using all possible resources to help people who have to flee the war in Ukraineconfirms Mark Weber, president of the Customs and Immigration Union.

It goes without saying that the government should take the necessary measures to allow these people to reach Canadian soil quickly and safely. »

A quote from Mark Weber, President of the Customs and Immigration Union

To date, 60,000 applications for the Canada-Ukraine Emergency Travel Authorization (AVUCU) – a scheme that was introduced in mid-March by Ottawa – have been completed by Ukrainian nationals, who must You must provide their fingerprints and photo before coming to Canada.

This requirement causes a lot of hassle. In Poland, for example, it is difficult to obtain an appointment to have these biometric data taken at a center recognized by the Canadian government.

The people targeted have to wait several days and some have even decided to cross Europe again in order to find an available slot more quickly, in another country.

Ukrainians flock to the center in Warsaw responsible for the administrative formalities to come to Canada. But places are limited and it is very difficult to get an appointment.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Yanik Dumont-Baron

It all makes no sensesays Bloc Québécois MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe.

For several weeks now, the Bloc Québécois, which describes of failure the arrival of Ukrainian refugees, calls for the establishment of a air bridge to evacuate Ukrainian refugees and would like these biometric data to be taken in Canada.

Customs officers already have immigration training. They are available, voluntary. We really have the staff here, in Canada. It would speed up the processsays Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe.

We see that currently it does not work. If competent people raise their hands, like customs officers, why not? »

A quote from Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, Bloc Québécois MP

Such an initiative would not be a first for Canadian customs officers. In 2015, already, within the framework of the arrival of Syrian refugees, they carried out similar tasks, recalls their union.

The latter says he is also able to complete other administrative aspects, such as applying for a work permit.

Border services officers have much of the expertise needed to support staff already assigned to these tasksdetails Mark Weber.

Several of our members have expressed their solidarity with those affected by the war in Ukraine and if they knew they could come and lend a hand in the efforts to facilitate their arrival, I am sure they would jump at the ‘occasionhe resumes, while specifying that however, this is not an option that has been shared by our employer at this point.

Questioned several times on this subject in recent days, Ottawa has so far remained silent in the face of this request.

However, the Ministry of Immigration has promised to set up additional resources, particularly in Warsaw.

More details to come

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