Women and children arrive at a makeshift camp to board a train heading to Krakow after fleeing Ukraine, at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Thursday, March 10, 2022.;The war in Ukraine is forcing investors, especially those who prioritize environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, to take a closer look at the stocks and other assets they hold, whether individually or through funds. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Visar Kryeziu


MARTINSVILLE – Things are moving fast in Saskatchewan when it comes to grassroots efforts providing support for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war.

One of the people who has been working extensively on this front is Steve Halabura, a regular columnist with Pipeline Online (See his recent column on this issue here). For the past two weeks, he’s been working on putting together what is known as a “Group of Five” people who commit to supporting a refugee family for a year. However, that program can be very bureaucratic in nature, and things are happening fast in Eastern Europe. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), by March 11, “Over 2.5 million refugees (are) estimated to have fled to neighbouring countries since 24 February and rising.

Additionally, the UNHCR says there are 854,000 internally displaced people within Ukraine. (To be considered a refugee, you must cross an international border.)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Ukrainian refugees in Poland on March 10.

As a result, with provincial and federal governments on board, it may be possible to see action a lot sooner than what has typically been the case.

Halabura and a number of business people and family members in the Saskatoon area, Estevan, and most recently, Moosomin, have been coming together to support refugees right away.

“One of the first people to contact me was Brian Crossman of Independent Well Servicing”, said Halabura. “Then from the southeast Cory Casemore, Josh Biggs, and of course Brian Zinchuk. Like I figured, when there is need, the oilpatch is often the first to step up!”

A Ukrainian woman with her baby embarks a train bound to Warsaw, at the Przemysl train station, southeastern Poland, on Friday, March 11, 2022. Thousands of people have been killed and more than 2.3 million have fled the country since Russian troops crossed into Ukraine on Feb. 24. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)



On March 11, he reported they are hearing positive things from the provincial government. But a key factor is going to be once they get here, these refugees are going to need jobs, in addition to housing and other supports. And that coincides with two words that have become very common in Saskatchewan’s oilpatch: labour shortage.

“What are we going to do for employment? What actual oilfield companies hiring, and what would be required?” Halabura said.

Specifically, they are looking for an organization, group, individual or company who would be willing to step forward and do coordination in this regard. If a comprehensive list of available jobs for refugees could be presented to the provincial and federal governments, that would go a long way in supporting these efforts.

“Anything from a hotel needing cleaners to office support to slinging tongs. If we can put that list together, that is gold to our cause,” Halabura said.

An explosion is seen in an apartment building after Russian’s army tank fires in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)


He’s thinking big, too. Not just a handful of people, but maybe 100, or 300 refugees who need work.

“My cousin and fellow group member, Wayne Halabura, said that if we are making this effort, lets streamline it so we can accept and settle hundreds, not just tens,” Halabura said.

A key consideration is that most of the refugees will be women and children. Ukraine is not permitting men from the ages of 18 to 60 to leave, requiring them to take part in the war effort against the Russian invaders.

“A little piece here in Saskatoon, a little piece in Estevan. Momentum is starting to grow,” he said.

If you are interested in joining the effort, please contact Steve Halabura at steveh@conceptforge.ca.


  • 0045 WBPC 2023 Bright Colors P
    0045 WBPC 2023 Bright Colors P
  • 0044 PTRC CCUS Aquistore
    0044 PTRC CCUS Aquistore
  • 0043 ALX ten sizes
    0043 ALX ten sizes
  • 0042 Sask Oilfield Services
    0042 Sask Oilfield Services
  • 0039 Summit ESP Saskatchewan lower third
    0039 Summit ESP Saskatchewan lower third
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0040 Southeast College safety tickets
    0040 Southeast College safety tickets
  • 0033 Buffalo Potash Jared Small Footprint
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0029 Latus Viro updated Latus phone
  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0023 LC Trucking tractor picker hiring mix
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0019 Jerry Mainil Ltd hiring dugout
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002


Amid global energy crisis, labour shortage constrains growth of Canadian oilpatch

Steve Halabura: Some things we can do to combat the horror in Ukraine. I’m willing to sponsor a refugee family. Will you?

Plan for Ukrainian refugees to be discussed at Moosomin Chamber of Commerce meeting