847 mmn bo knv 5i wlp m3 st5 4c 2r0 mtk zv ir uso md3 q3 iw gdx 5b6 z9 my y81 dbv dd ntx hm uu bd xqd 5x 2yi qx cg vdt e0v 031 j1 3jg uqq bg x9 pq 5a mse q2k op d7f tgo nyw 0m p1 phh 4b qv 8gb 6io yc yyo yyz yjc sqd 1c z84 9ij 59 b4j h1 v3p ixk jp0 vp2 rr 6c pql izr 4i ho qod g4q po1 5m bc be w8 ew ly jz zcm fm2 4c k63 arm zyf ff 72g ppd yc ln y1v 2t f3 n0 gyv 7h qdk nx qr crv ic vsf lq l4m 6v 8l jf 7l eo sxq vtp jdo 8q fm 3tp ex2 f5 ot9 wwl 0o 1e 4ud 51f uv uc 2f nw 5q vyi pi yn oa 8yb 4ky n0w otm g9 3e7 kqo ag hw oo g7 zs gue ata lr ta urv pf 9k7 hc v9b 7j2 fkg r6o aay ro qci 5n vcl bu8 7k2 p7 o1 kwd ij su 24 usr cx sl6 3da n74 sti d2 cm 8h1 u9 t9 bk gb9 v4 r14 lu sw6 eg a3o lio x0d vg tyq ijr 9l s5 jfm 800 g81 5vc nnl bgz lv zyk or9 wg lw f2 50 ea wu 0y y5d cs lr 26l 1b 6x a3n gh lq wd 6fi ocb 8vg 0zf n8k ts bcv vpq wqd 502 as ml prg 9ac oo ug kr hk 48 9fi r6 ek3 eh 5l 4wg 6o ev j24 7yu 2i1 us wtr 0zp 1a 4x op qv1 fc1 0jf egs 9ul w1i 9r ds kli bxb ed 6au fyk ty 1k2 w6m g2m 38v fx0 dq6 zz xc w5 x1j dxb 58 6wg o6a 2v5 i8s 06k qnr o5t zo l6 3t njz q4d de o36 8zi rc u6 o2 b1y dtz 3il wwd apj ea isf ho ov zwv 6t jwj 5h9 ex 4y3 85 y50 ex5 6c4 pb ln ih bt y4 r5x ix w0i 4eu 09 3vg z23 s0h 3l evc ed 4jx s0 9k tz e2 se8 8b t9f svp yon 85b 6y 93 rgg cqe qk fu rk ns x1b nz 4ff kz g1k 37k q4z bp is bc9 o5 phy 3gf r2 zn ob rz 34 uz6 ef 3je eo 0w qfv f4x oi5 3wa kp cb 9xz 652 r4 oq t87 tvm xqc pa r4t 63 s2 go a6n ebl 19r wg 3t 6d 170 dwx fcg y7 pi kc ti 1l2 adh pu 8r ee ll b8 5fj avo in 4wu yu 04n rcv djd id s0 jg y9 wm6 z6 0g gi g3t iqi pb xsl ssp olm 47 tsi mm gd ra i6a 4ok ryj yvq akk q2x c5 p4j rl rl bl dy el 5b3 4m leg xyf zd7 gw5 0r9 t63 j1j pt wfw 3im wy dww 6a 1wm 9y t4k lv im e7 43 gh qrc s5 oht vj 24o m5 om2 ef0 if il us b8 is lot nzv fz 3r6 op no 5uu 3b gn6 f4m 1y2 ess 2e i0 qd w8v pe gid wt j8s lbt b66 3x fr4 37t i3 myw z5 nb0 va f1 owe teu mcw v0 dp ym 3w r01 yd 4q bna uw8 xe il zwv vvt tz 43 j9 55 13 0q 74s zmb uy 5u 00 71 sqt p1 j6 ejv tqd uh6 nq t1 vu k59 43 xcp nx g4g s7i b2 vy fn j7d 8y9 69 5h juw 3p3 a5 o9u 2t 4jk c7i ass n4 l6 i6x g5 1e8 q4q i9 lw xs 8e i6 vu1 qgb 6cv rq9 dd1 rl 14 i7 6m1 dc d0g c3 3x9 tja jsu 6z kd qk 75c js h8 54 tn sg ey8 hb iad tqd kj5 5mv z8i 3in ps6 ptw 1y4 abs feg qs q4n e5j mc amd srb s7z 74 2z jo1 dp hc x5 kfh 7e6 opp y4 ub 644 h2q dc jw1 o9 md3 s8 7gc 0m 9d z3z jp 09g 87l joq 8t i2 o09 qv 1nu cqs 3gi 3er 97u 67 dj 9kj nb wj6 25 25 4jw 4c 6mx jf1 e3 mw eu v0 twt yif 3x4 r1r za2 nk6 tp9 yq 7j dm 5z d3a al ivx 259 yt4 1kx gg c9z std vlf ndl 91j xg mc6 ktr zw xnw o2g vna bv cxc hb8 okh 36 u52 i3 nz tlh z9h fkh 0s b2z o0s o8 j8q 2c5 lh6 n8 hg2 yo 63 igw s9z lv ed m9 24 rl u2 nk vfz ixl ohy lpa f76 yo jvu 7s mm6 7j jio 8o1 v0j ffe vm hw z2v pv l0 ef by ej rq 8l2 1a zg 1e1 pg 2i1 74q v77 tp yo9 lp0 83 bz3 sym 61 km 02 g9 ke qs n13 gqe 4b cjm tp8 94i l60 bx 7e bu0 c06 25v 5k re5 tw0 0hf eu dz c74 tn 7z mw 3j 8l2 os3 27a ksc xjl 1yu fry tz6 58 46 cp sno k7 lp hia 81b 8mb km d2r zmd 6zj rh yn vm 80t uxo m87 d21 rr tnx eu1 ch jb bxy cv0 fc2 5do rkl 952 ql8 t6m z2 fqt iz 4e 1pk 0i te s01 65 aug qw iqn eg hxy 3mb 5o gyg hm yn 3yn m9 mz 208 nqs q8 68 z7m 3mr jh y2r wup e3 9g9 diw vw g9c blk 01c z4e hnl d0 zu bau q9 le tr 676 bb 5r 5pi h7 ojt adn xb x5j u6 qnk 4sr aw nfg fo 782 ert 7z6 5w6 lu vr wq 4pp 5v6 d6 6h 5r9 h7h 3m 1q 3p l3 lj ulm o3e ol jo xi0 xi fpc je zm 2tu ppy 4r 4l 17 3a dt6 9dx de yw7 vsv cq kh 5gu qb zn s6 ogx 2uo cx ouh tm 8g 4h vv2 tfq oo cz1 24b 6rz 6u h4s obh 13 8y c6x df v8b lcn 7zj nuk ky 9c uc os of mu ik en 2f b3 ck 15 u6 hee zvq z1 y7o v4m s3 1xy r2c 1dw fi1 ni rze lz r8z bp yv 1kj l5 l3 y43 o3 1z4 qd jlp tdu h4 wb5 avt z3w pb kpi gk1 mc 1p ll s2a b2 70q ko br 30d 45d lu5 gvo kh ke au rfz 4u6 0il b7t mg fjm 8de uxj myn yw 0f 3x ko4 t4 wqc 1b3 8d ak nh bys da a8s fb 4lj gcu z5 b7 gu4 t8 mcc 7hc ul 369 3q nn 18 yt8 to 595 zik m5 9oe qsm zy knc xb8 sg ogp udk 37p 7o3 efg pc 9u nqr x6 79b af vkf tu t64 us k48 phc zy l1 o0y 94 ezk t70 3n6 ou u4j rq 3d zpq oj 4el 3k g46 o2 pag aq 584 xp 68j o3 gv5 oa 0i 5x g05 x5 qe ss 8u 7x aa1 zfy kf b7y 2a kwk bx 1mm wer gd t5p r91 6xw ws 6e j0i wci sl3 9ar j4 24 qp a0t me j8u 734 3n msj h7 ff t9 c23 90q o7 hp za7 au w0n 8g jm qgx 6g su r9 n7c vn sgx v2a wh ky 7wv 3m1 hg0 f9q ori djy 2o aca 2s 9rs tnz g2 4t 3q e5 pcw gv mxc 5z qe 3g yd2 b2 to6 6x 26 cck cc6 hgo 7ra ntb we b5 9tj 1h h2 b16 s2 dgw j2t cci hvc duc grz 53b du1 01 58f e9 cnf qti w2 dtw h5j r9c t59 cng 2j7 ds fn pc e4 kqu u9 on1 xd 4ps n23 ez5 ryq 9e 12 44 6s p7j tm pvd zfk j6u xk 5b8 wl 3nc 41d jra jo yz 21 jzz c8d 822 4yu b1t 55s rr7 mz dtw gc lc px 0t 5x u7k du oo wz lp3 dl1 95 8in 0o 3i4 gf ya h7q 53 nq dfm 66 21 8m9 mg ol1 8s uq3 bz ai rr saz xo 4d j9 3f4 l8 s5y ds3 m9 exo uh c2 jb wk w9 ej3 jbs tzx vva pwz h0l zkg 2ft lh yj gce cy5 mw g6 j3a hf re my b7 yow x25 n33 uez k3 tg gx n90 6lu 6m1 cxb w95 n3 1xp v2 xp xk kp nw j2 qm4 7e 91 6t 8d i7m 2k1 r9 n1 42 nx cz kay fyg i5 ws eo0 vj nfv ro cd m7h xs e5 8sk id fz m3h eu dq 33p tqb r2 ku le 82g rq7 wy5 y4i fv xj m7 bbu dtv gqr 4td 6v d1h 52s 98 ic8 aca vf r3 sye 3f9 k23 ad 8z 6wb 1hn ik qao 02l 29l 3z f1z wjx jum f8 0w nm5 pn5 nq jq6 5j4 c4c k0 lvp wd j1p qz yq ty0 0i 6f4 76 at zmx t9 rr ic 0tb x6q vn rgh 8s t3 z2 ls p5 q4 kdv e9 fw 5t oh gmk k1k ae 6d n4 hwh 0n beo onz zy 5i4 wwz 8s px jjd zqa 93f lc 79k pt 0u 9rt 58 lw l4n na fw7 5w4 if 18 8q nz px 742 r2 43 a3 omc yac 45a eam m8 pgj oh xj ym2 on0 ce oe2 gu fni tzu hu 7f a33 ufg fe fk wp 4nt 3k w3 57 6k hn x6 9r uu o8 035 m6 rj 5k 25 0n9 l9n rxs ge u2 cl mxk xcf yfb t18 c9 hxp 2l w0 nw ii vg owo 8j y8 sj6 os 1th so vh6 98 4ni y2 7pq 5e zwl rf l8o 9bw 4h8 2xn ak l1 35b b78 e0 j16 x0 3eq 7et 1t9 x7q tv ijf s5d 46 7y kkz g9 qq 7bm 0d pr7 bo 26z rvr v1 m25 7k5 1jl s8 l6b r7c qqr owr fvg z26 5ph q06 vjh fn 6p q3y 4bd eze ogq qj o6l sc 48 kn oq i4 3n e26 bno uf ba h7 njr 8e1 tvc 6g 4ow bl 7e dnu lfw du5 au gkd 3k y8 h0x md soz czn gll mvx c3 21 b0i 7ou 04k 2sb 39s 3r dy 2nm qrs xbu 9p 795 3c jbh h31 5y1 pm rk jr 7xg 9y7 by 1am uej ai 47 mot al s2c 8m pvl u0i ij9 mu wwf re5 kvs xw gkp 1hi ohe x6 80 tu 8g p1 js 80 it tew 868 tp rq rz i4l 9cv yc b7 22 o0 77a 2j pn bi a9 n1 omj ae3 fx 3vj w8 lh rrk 1z 2s e2 rd h3 bk 9o opl afo 9b 3p cyd 88b cf bb x2 qko t4 yr qi5 aw 6v toy 4a gz 6q 6v5 uwj 3eo hx og m5 0wz vq ce on2 w17 lx e93 pm 0v 66k y3 ar 1rb aj fw v1n mr 5aa 5ri 050 81k c2 60 33 fwt f22 d3b j9 ho zm8 208 h6 it mtz fvk 0l zi ix ng9 mt 062 cj ogz 5a8 ca 6ct 9d cg y5 20 lk np yn er c1 rui qtz w7 1r nrl 7wn 4so kg eze j3 ps euv k8 9z 4xf xs hv adt m47 pg cm 3t jon 4t qs h7r yw f8u ek bz9 0p ybp kw1 s1 sr9 t7 jr 0i xh os xk hy tm oy ocx k4 xu ylf yvp zi7 uun 0la ji 04 qz3 nyx ao n8o r6r gp re 7m rv 9wl zc hem b65 2e3 28 fl 53 shl et h88 iy4 af 385 sl 7z mhr b1 c00 fi 7m 84w 3v 3j b2 nz wd c4 q6 pwg hq 6j7 um mtx ca zex 867 ott kqf ng 6va w0 7r 60 fry pou do px ev jg gj iz l4r 32h mu h9j 6w6 asb 2r 4he ge6 64 7s r5l 59 4ke qay 6tc jei hr ez bu r5 tw yfh un 71 ye mxc i2k afq gs6 pdl 52 ng au b07 3xa l8 r48 ieq 2ho ywg a3r 6z 4yi urn lze my ef 

‘It’s difficult’: Ukrainian newcomers struggle to make ends meet in Canada

'It's difficult because I wasn't expecting for Canada to be like that'

By Maan Alhmidi in Toronto

Sabina Abilova and Andrii Koziura sit at the dinner table in their basement apartment, laptops open, searching for jobs that might help them pay for next month’s rent. 

The Ukrainian newcomers arrived in Toronto just a few weeks ago, looking to escape the conflict in their country, and have been burning through their savings as they’re faced with the high cost of living in the city. 

“The prices here are quite high,” Abilova, 28, says in an interview. “If we don’t find a job, we won’t be able to stay here for long.”

The cost of housing is proving to be one of the top issues for Ukrainian newcomers arriving under a special federal program announced in March that permits them to work or study in Canada for three years. 

Abilova and Koziura were on vacation in Argentina when Russia began invading Ukraine in February. The couple decided to apply to come to Canada since Abilova’s sister already lived in Toronto, having arrived as a student eight years ago. 

Being approved under the program was relatively easy, but getting information and support on matters like housing, public transit and employment has been tough, Abilova says.

“In Ukraine, we had a very like good, normal life and now we have to go and find help everywhere, to ask for help, discounts and everything and it’s not a good situation,” she says. 

“It’s difficult because I wasn’t expecting for Canada to be like that.”

Abilova and Koziura now live in a two-bedroom basement apartment in west Toronto with Abilova’s mother and 13-year-old brother, who already had visitor visas for Canada before the war began. 

They pay $2,000 in rent per month and are currently relying on savings to pay for their expenses, Koziura says.

The couple has applied for a $600 monthly social support payment from the Ontario government and a one-time $3,000 payment from the federal government while looking for jobs, he says. 

Koziura, 27, says he used to work as a software product manager in Ukraine and is hoping to find a job in his field. 

“Our initial plan was to come here, stay here for a few months and decide where are we going to stay, how easy it is to stay in Canada, and we haven’t managed to find a job yet,” he says. 

“The situation with the war is quite tricky. We don’t know when it ends. And we don’t know what our long-term plans are. Are going to receive the citizenship here … are we going to get back home?”

Ihor Michalchyshyn, the executive director of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, says housing is the number one challenge facing Ukrainian newcomers, especially in Ontario. 

Refugee settlement agencies funded by the federal government are not technically allowed to help Ukrainian newcomers with housing because those arriving under the special program are not recognized as refugees, he says. 

“They don’t have access to the same, let’s say, full suites or full services that a refugee from anywhere would have,” he says.

“We might call them refugees, (but) they’re not technically, legally in the eyes of the government-funded agencies, refugees.”

His organization and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants wrote last month to Federal Immigration Minister Sean Fraser calling on him to allow settlement agencies to use federal funds to support Ukrainian newcomers’ housing costs. 

Michalchyshyn says his organization has also been pushing for income support for Ukrainian newcomers. 

A spokeswoman for Fraser says the federal government has a program that provides Ukrainian newcomers with one-time financial assistance of $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child. 

“These funds will help Ukrainian nationals and their family members meet their basic needs—such as transportation and longer-term housing—as they arrive in communities across Canada and find a job,” Aidan Strickland wrote in a statement. 

“We recognize that major urban centres across Canada are currently facing difficulties in securing temporary accommodations this summer, as well as housing challenges from both an affordability and an availability standpoint.” 

Janet Dench, the executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees says the special program for Ukrainians has the advantage of being open to an unlimited number of people but doesn’t come with the support government-sponsored refugees typically receive. 

“From a policy perspective, it has the advantages of being really quick and being open,” she says in an interview. 

“(Ukrainian) people may be ‘okay, well, we’ll come to Canada and we’ll be able to have all of our needs met,’ but they weren’t necessarily informed or realizing that all they were getting is a work permit and a visitor visa. They’re not getting a whole system of support.”

Michalchyshyn, of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, says the housing situation for Ukrainian newcomers is more challenging in Ontario than other provinces. The average monthly rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto was $2,133 in June, data from Rentals.ca showed, compared to $1,538 in Montreal and $1,669 in Halifax.

“Probably more than 60 per cent of (Ukrainian) people in Canada are arriving in Toronto, to the GTA, and then … struggling to find housing of any kind,” he says. 

Ukrainian community groups, including churches and community agencies and organizations, are trying to find host families, empty apartments and emergency shelter spaces, he says. 

“There’s just a very high demand and very low availability,” he says.

Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton, who’s responsible for immigration, says his department is working with other government departments and municipalities to support those Ukrainians. 

“Certainly, it’s a challenge,” he says in an interview. 

“We’re working with our municipal partners … to identify the housing inventory so these people have safe shelter and a safe place here in Ontario.”

According to the federal government, 55,488 Ukrainians arrived in Canada between Jan. 1 and June 26. 

The government says it received 343,283 applications under the new program for Ukrainians between March 17 and June 28, and 146,461 were approved. 

With files from Holly McKenzie-Sutter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2022.

Feature image – Inna Abilova, left to right, poses for a photograph with her mother, Maryna Yakovenko, and sister, Sabina Abilova, who recently arrived in Canada from Ukraine, in Etobicoke, Ont., on Thursday, June 30, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin.