The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters:
“On this National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters, we stand in solidarity with Canadians at home and around the world who have lost loved ones to these tragedies.
“We solemnly remember the victims of all air disasters, including Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (Flight PS752), Air Ontario Flight 1363, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, and Air India Flight 182.
“Exactly four years ago today, the downing of Flight PS752 by the Islamic Republic of Iran shocked the world. This heartbreaking incident resulted in the loss of 176 lives, including Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, and many others with ties to Canada. We are taking concrete action, along with our international partners, to hold Iran accountable for this senseless tragedy. We continue to fight for justice and accountability for families as members of the International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752.
“Today, we are announcing our next step in holding the Islamic Republic of Iran accountable for violating international law by jointly filing our case before the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council pursuant to Article 84 of the Chicago Convention. This is an important step in our commitment to ensuring that the families of the victims impacted by this tragedy get the justice they deserve.
“We are also committed to strengthening the safety and security of air travel for all Canadians, at home and abroad. Last year, as part of our Safer Skies Initiative, Canada partnered with the Netherlands to co-host the third annual Safer Skies Forum, where we joined our international partners in renewing our commitment to better protect civil aircraft from the risks posed by conflict zones. We also continue to advocate for the ICAO to review its aircraft accident investigation framework, to enhance transparency and credibility of investigations.
“We continue to stand with and support the families and loved ones affected by air disasters. Through the Commemorative Scholarship Program launched last October, we will disburse 176 scholarships over five years to honour the memory of victims of Flight PS752. This year, we will award 32 scholarships, including six to candidates with close family ties to the victims of Flight PS752. Last March, we also provided funding to ten organizations through the Commemoration Fund for the Victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Tragedy to support the development of commemorative projects in memory of the victims.
“As we pay tribute to the victims of air disasters, we offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends who have lost loved ones. We will continue to work with our partners to create a safer, more peaceful world, where everyone can travel in security.”