Forensic team to support Canada’s ongoing response to Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 tragedy

News release

October 2, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada continues to work with international partners to pursue a thorough and credible investigation into the Ukraine International Airlines disaster, which took the lives of 176 people, including 55 Canadians and 30 permanent residents of Canada.

Significant questions remain surrounding the circumstances and cause of the tragedy. The families and loved ones of the victims deserve to know how and why Flight PS752 was shot down near Tehran.

To that end, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced the formation of a Canadian forensic examination and assessment team, as recommended by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Special Advisor for the Government of Canada’s ongoing response to the downing of Flight PS752.

The forensic team consists of public servants from several federal departments and agencies with relevant skill sets and expertise, and is led by Jeff Yaworski, formerly the Deputy Director of Operations at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. The team will collect, organize and analyze all available information, evidence and intelligence about the PS752 disaster, and will advise the government on its credibility and probative value. The team will report to the national security and intelligence advisor to the prime minister.

The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with its international partners to advocate for transparency, accountability and justice, including by ensuring that Iran makes full reparations, for the victims of PS752 and their grieving families.

Quotes

“The Ukraine International Airlines tragedy shocked and saddened all Canadians. As we continue to work with our international partners, the forensic team will help us more closely examine and uncover the cause of this tragedy, for those who have lost family and loved ones on that fateful day in Tehran. This is yet another step to uncover the truth, hold the Iranian regime to account and seek justice for the families of the victims. We will spare no efforts on behalf of the families of the victims to obtain justice and closure”.  

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“As a global community, it is in our power to ensure no one has to go through the same loss and shock that this terrible incident has caused. That is why we are taking this important step to get the grieving families and friends the answers they need, and to help ensure that another tragedy like this never happens again.”

- Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport

“The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is assiduously performing its official functions with respect to the expert safety investigation being conducted according to international rules and standards under Annex 13 of the Convention on Civil Aviation. But that work does not deal with important questions of fact and ultimate responsibility for this disaster. That’s why we need our own Canadian capacity to examine and assess all available information, evidence and intelligence—to get as close to the truth as humanly possible—so the families can get the answers they need and Canada can take the appropriate steps in the international arena to better safeguard civil aviation.”

- Ralph Goodale, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for the Government of Canada’s ongoing response to the Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 tragedy

Quick facts

  • On January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down near Tehran by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, killing 176 people, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

  • Afghanistan, Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom formed the International Coordination and Response Group to support the families of the victims of the tragedy. The group aims to ensure a full and transparent investigation into the causes of the fatal crash so that families and loved ones get the answers they deserve.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on February 14, 2020, that Canada is developing a safer skies strategy, which will bring together partners to establish a common set of practices to better protect passengers from the risk of flying in or near foreign conflict zones. The implementation of this strategy will help improve aviation safety and prevent tragedies, such as the shooting down of Flight PS752, from ever happening again.

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Contacts

Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Syrine.Khoury@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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