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Canada to compensate families $25,000 for Canadian victims killed on Flight PS752 in Iran

Last Updated Jan 17, 2020 at 7:21 pm CDT


Families of each of the Canadians, permanent residents killed when plane went down in Iran to receive $25,000 from feds

Ukrainian flight PS752 was hit by an Iranian missile last week and crashed, killing all 176 people on board

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government expects Iran to compensate the families impacted by what happened

OTTAWA – The federal government will be giving $25,000 to families of each of the 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents who died when Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet last week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the money — which he called a “first step” — is intended to cover the cost of funeral arrangements and travel.

“What happened last week was nothing short of a national tragedy,” he said on Friday. “To the families and loved ones of the victims — all Canadians are mourning your loss. You are in our thoughts and in our hearts during this most difficult time.”

Trudeau made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims, but that he knows families cannot wait any longer for support.

“This is a unique and unprecedented situation because of the international sanctions placed on Iran and the difficulties that that imposes on these families,” he said. “I want to be clear. We expect Iran to compensate these families.”

The federal government is also setting up a dedicated, national 1-800 line that will provide families with legal advice and information, as needed.

Trudeau said Air Canada and Qatar Airways have been “facilitating travel” between Canada and Iran, and that the federal government has been working with the Canadian Bankers’ Association so families can manage estates of victims killed.

“Similarly, we’ve also been working with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association to ensure that families are receiving the services and support to which they are entitled,” Trudeau added.

Meanwhile, he said families of up to 20 Canadian victims have expressed their wishes to have the remains of their loved ones returned to Canada. So far, none of the victims’ bodies have returned to Canada, but that is expected to start happening in the coming days.

Others have said they would like family members killed in the downing of the passenger jet to be buried in Iran.

“Canada continues to call for a thorough and credible investigation into last week’s tragedy,” Trudeau said.

On Thursday, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, was in London to convene the members of the International Coordination and Response Group.

He and representatives from Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine — countries which lost citizens in the downing of the airliner — agreed on a framework, Trudeau said, to guide the group’s engagement with the Iranian government. The countries are all asking that Iran punish those responsible and compensate the families of victims.

Meanwhile, Champagne was in Oman on Friday to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, to talk about the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. The plane had just taken off from Tehran’s international airport when it was hit by one — and possibly two — Iranian surface-to-air missile.

Trudeau noted with the black boxes being damaged, they need to be examined as quickly as possible.

In a rare sermon during Friday prayers, Iran’s supreme leader called the downing of the civilian airliner a bitter accident that saddened Iran and made its enemies happy.

-With files from The Associated Press