Struggling to make ends meet, Ukrainian family that escaped war reconsidering choice of coming to Canada

"The issue is money," says Oleksii Sadovnyk, as his family of 10 arrived in Montreal from Ukraine almost a year ago in search of a better life. However, the family faces financial difficulties as they struggle to make ends meet. Swidda Rassy reports.

By News Staff

A Ukrainian family that came to Canada to escape the war is having second thoughts about their new home because of the economic situation.

The Sadovnyks are reconsidering life in Quebec, just outside of Montreal, for financial reasons.

“They like it here but it’s just a question of money,” family friend Oleg Koleboshyn told CityNews.

“They wanted to move to Canada. It was an opportunity for them.”

But the dynamics of that opportunity changed immensely in recent months. The family is facing financial difficulties and struggling to make ends meet. They feel they will have no choice but to leave Canada altogether.

Last August, Oleksii Sadovnyk and his family left behind everything they knew, including three adult-age children, one of whom is fighting in the war. They considered Canada their beacon of hope, offering a fresh start to things.

“A long time ago, before the war, we wanted to move to Canada, but we didn’t have a way,” Sadovnyk said in Ukrainian.

The Sadovnyk family fled the war in Ukraine in August 2023. (Swidda Rassy, CityNews)

But with the responsibility of raising eight children in Canada and only one person working, making ends meet for the family became quite a challenge.

“They pay $2,400 and he earns $3,100-$3,200. So, nothing,” Koleboshyn said.

Even with the current housing crisis in Canada, the family considered downsizing to an apartment to help save money. But landlords rejected their applications because the family was just too big.

“Two months, he tried to find other apartments, but you know, no one will accept him. No one,” Koleboshyn said.

Despite the increase in immigration, a recent report from Statistics Canada shows that between 1982 and 2017, roughly one in six immigrants chose to leave Canada within 20 years of being admitted. About five per cent leave within their first five years. Factors such as the housing crisis and high cost of living all play significant roles.

“The biggest issue is money,” Sadovnyk said. “We are rigorous people, we pay for everything, but sometimes there is no money.”

An online fundraiser has been set up by Koleboshyn to help the family make ends meet.

The family says they don’t want to leave Canada. But if their financial situation doesn’t improve, they have no choice but to return to Ukraine, along with their eight children.

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