WestJet Donation to displaced Ukrainians arriving in Canada under the ‘Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel’



As part of the Government of Canada’s resolute support to Ukrainians, the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) was introduced in March 2022 to support the people of Ukraine by offering Ukrainians a temporary status and ability to work, study and stay in Canada until it is safe for them to return home.

Recognizing Canadians’ generosity and the interest expressed by Canadian businesses in supporting Canada’s response to the crisis in Ukraine, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) launched the Canadian Industry for Ukraine donation portal in early May 2022. The program enables Canadian businesses to donate high-priority goods and services, and funding to support displaced Ukrainians and other displaced people in need who are making Canada their home.

This report elaborates on the donations management process as guided by CISSA-ACSEI’s Corporate Donation Manual, the allocation and distribution of donations informed by data, along with impact stories from the ground.

This report is also available in PDF format.

Distribution Process

WestJet donated 500 flight vouchers to support displaced Ukrainians to reach their final destination upon their arrival in Canada.

CISSA-ACSEI worked with eleven provincial and territorial coordinating partners to allocate and coordinate the donations (see Annex 1: Corporate Donation Process Map). To ensure equity between provinces and territories, donations were allocated based on needs and informed by data including Financial Assistance statistics from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) indicating the numbers of displaced Ukrainians who applied for financial assistance in each province or territory. In coordination with provincial and territorial partners, settlement agencies used the vouchers to book tickets for displaced Ukrainians.

The vouchers were distributed in two phases: during phase 1, vouchers were prioritized to support the re-location of Ukrainians who arrived by government-supported charter flights; during phase 2, after charter flights were completed, the vouchers were used to book domestic flights for Ukrainians who arrived by commercial flights.

In total, 500 flight tickets were booked to help displaced Ukrainians to travel across Canada:

  • By 18 settlement agencies in all Canadian provinces.
  • From 13 departing cities to 17 cities and airports.
  • From larger cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, to smaller towns.
  • 500 people benefited from the WestJet donation.
ESDC Financial Assistance (%)  (data as of June 14, 2022)ONABQCBCMBSKNSNBNLPEINU, YK, YT
Total gift cards50020941751045306003000

Table: Allocation process of the donation informed by ESDC’s Financial Assistance Data

The Impact "in their words..."

These stories showcase a variety of perspectives:  hearing from displaced Ukrainians themselves, from the volunteers lending a hand, and the settlement workers coordinating donations on the ground.

Due to financial limitations, the videos are not professionally produced; however, they will be shared on CISSA-ACSEI’s online platforms, including web and social media. Given the sensitive nature of Russia’s full-scale illegal invasion of Ukraine, we offered participants the opportunity to refrain from revealing their identities.

This video is intended to give donors a further sense of the impact of corporate donations in supporting displaced Ukrainians, including the reach of the donation.


“It is a big support for us during this difficult time. Thank you.”


“Thank you to WestJet for the free domestic flight that I received for my family. Your support came at the right time. Our flight was quick and smooth.”


“The flight tickets helped me to start a new life in Canada. Thank you.”


“Thank you to WestJet for providing me with flight tickets for me and my wife.”

Thank you, Merci WestJet! Дякую!

CISSA-ACSEI, the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial coordinating partners, settlement agencies join their voices to those of displaced Ukrainians to thank WestJet for its generous donation and the impact it has had in the lives of displaced persons in need. Дякую!

Corporate Donations Process Map