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1 April 2022 

Hon. Dorothy Shephard 

Minister of Health, Province of New Brunswick 

HSBC Place 

P. O. Box 5100 

Fredericton, NB  

E3B 5G8 

Via email:  

Dear Minister Shephard: 

Re: Medicare for Ukrainian Immigrants 

I am writing today regarding a red tape issue with Ukrainian nationals arriving in the province after fleeing the war in their home country.  

The Government of Canada has created two specific streams to help deal with the Ukranian crisis: 

  1. A family reunification stream; and 
  1. An uncapped three-year Visa stream. 

The issue arises with the Visa stream. When applying through this process, applicants have the option of also selecting an option for a work permit – which is automatically granted. However, the work permit is also the trigger to provide Medicare coverage within the Visa stream, meaning that those who do not choose this option will not necessarily get medical coverage in New Brunswick. The work permit also unlocks IRCC funding to settlement agencies to provide services for newcomers.  

These settlement agencies as well as federal and provincial officials are attempting to inform all applicants of the importance of selecting the work permit option, but it is inevitable that some individuals will not be aware of this policy and fall through the cracks. It is our understanding that other provinces such as Quebec, British Columbia and Newfoundland & Labrador have already made policy changes to provide coverage for all Ukrainians arriving through these new federal immigration streams. 

It is also our understanding that officials from Opportunities New Brunswick have had discussions with your department in an effort to secure Medicare coverage for all Ukrainian arrivals fleeing the war in that country and we support these efforts. Our organization supports their efforts and hope your department can find an effective solution to provide Medicare to these individuals that have already faced so much hardship. 


Krista Ross, CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce 

cc: Hélène Bouchard, Vice President, Population Growth, Opportunities NB 

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