House Votes for Visa-Free travel for Ukraine: Liberals Oppose



Canadian Opposition Members voted on bloc today to allow Ukraine residents to travel to Canada without a Visa.


The vote was 175 for the motion, 154 against the motion. The Conservatives, the Bloc Quebecois, and the NDP voted for the motion, while the Liberals voted against it.


"Despite the lack of Liberal support, today the House voted in favour of adopting the bipartisan findings presented to Parliament spearheaded by Conservative members of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration that called on the government to stand with the people of Ukraine and immediately implement visa-free travel," Calgary Forest Lawn MP Jasraj Singh Hallan said in a statement released alongside Garnett Genuis, Conservative Shadow Minister for International Development, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement.


"Ukrainians who are fleeing the full-scale invasion of their country should not be left stranded because of Liberal-made backlogs at Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. The Liberal government promised to expedite Ukrainian applications, yet people are waiting weeks just for a biometrics appointment. It is why since the onset of the conflict, Conservatives along with other opposition parties, have been continuously calling on the government to provide visa-free travel to get Ukrainians here quickly," The statement read.


The motion comes after weeks of Russian attacks in Ukraine.


"Today's vote sends a crystal-clear message to Minister Fraser and the IRCC that the majority of MPs are looking for action," The Conservative MP's stated.


The motion reads as follow:


That the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration report the following to the House: We


(a) condemn the unwarranted and unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a clear violation of international law,

(b) call on the Government of Canada to support Ukrainians and people residing in Ukraine who are impacted by this conflict and ensure that it is prepared to process immigration applications on an urgent basis without compromising needs in other areas; and

(c) implement visa-free travel from Ukraine to Canada, including by the rapid issuance of an electronic travel authorization (eTA), and increase staffing resources so that the existing backlog for all immigration streams is not further impacted by this humanitarian crisis.