Letter: Sturgeon County’s Response to the War in Ukraine

Bill 15

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As tragedy continues to unfold, Sturgeon County stands with the people of Ukraine and all Canadians of Ukrainian heritage. Russia’s actions and invasion of the country of Ukraine is an act of inexcusable evil, and we are shocked and saddened as the horrors of this war continue to be revealed.

Sturgeon County fully supports the Province of Alberta and the Government of Canada in their condemnation of Russian aggression, including the imposition of sanctions. As a sign of solidarity, the national flag of Ukraine will fly at Sturgeon County Centre for the foreseeable future. Our municipal organization has taken direct action to prepare supports we think may be necessary to prepare for Ukrainian nationals who may come to our region as refugees. We are also prepared to help any residents who require assistance as they process the images and video shared online and in the news as this war unfolds.

Since March, Sturgeon County has been working with its regional partners to identify how our communities might be best positioned to assist Ukrainian nationals relocating to the area via the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program. In addition, Sturgeon County and the Towns of Morinville, Gibbons, Legal, Bon Accord, and Redwater have coordinated an approach to emergency social services. Collaborative preparation for connecting people to appropriate regional supports such as local churches, senior groups, and other counselling programs has been developed. We remain committed to addressing any identified needs as they arise.

As a municipality, we are the closest level of government to the people living and settling in our communities. Being agile and having the ability to move quickly and provide help where needed most is paramount to our organization.
To those fleeing violence in Ukraine, who are settling in this part of Canada, Sturgeon County wishes to extend our hand in friendship and support. We strongly recommend anyone struggling to reach out to our staff in Family and Community Support Services.

You can access information on Sturgeon County’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) on our website at sturgeoncounty.ca/FCSS.

In our Strategic Plan, Sturgeon County strives to enable thriving communities, including establishing space that is safe, welcoming, and diverse. In our efforts to meet these goals, Sturgeon County remains steadfast in supporting Ukrainian nationals settling in the County in the coming days and months.

How you can help

• Supporting Ukrainians as they arrive in Alberta: Understand how to access provincial programs and supports available to help Ukrainians you know who are arriving in Alberta: www.alberta.ca/support-for-ukrainians.aspx

• Canadian Red Cross: Donate to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Crisis at www.redcross.ca

• United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Canada: Donate to help families fleeing Ukraine www.unrefugees.org

Alanna Hnatiw, Mayor, Sturgeon County

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