Government of Canada honours victims on the second National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters

News release

January 7, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Tomorrow marks two years since the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (Flight PS752), as well as the second National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters. On this solemn occasion, we remember the victims of all air disasters, including Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (Flight ET302), Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and Air India Flight 182, and stand in solidarity with all those who have lost loved ones to air disasters.

Canada continues to work with our International Coordination and Response Group partners—the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Ukraine—to ensure justice and accountability for the victims of the passengers and crew aboard Flight PS752. We stand in solidarity with the victim’s loved ones and are determined to hold Iran accountable for the downing by their military forces and to ensure Iran makes full reparations for the acts and omissions that led to the deaths of 176 innocent people.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport; the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and High Commissioner Ralph Goodale, met with family members of victims of Flight PS752 to reiterate their commitment to justice and inform them of progress made to date.   

In support of the families of victims of air disasters, the Government of Canada is delivering on several commitments.

Building on previously implemented measures to support families of the victims of Flight ET302 and Flight PS752, the government is developing a new pathway to permanent residence for certain family members that are outside Canada. We recognize that victims who were Canadian citizens, permanent residents or were approved to become permanent residents would have had the opportunity to build a life here in Canada with their families. The two permanent residence pathways honour their memory and support family members in Canada who have lost their loved ones.

Based on the feedback received during the consultations with family members and loved ones, the government will proceed with the formal establishment of a scholarship program in memory of victims of Flight PS752. The program is expected to disburse 176 scholarships averaging $25,000 for each beneficiary. This program will also strengthen the bonds between people through international academic exchanges. Open to both international and Canadian students, the program will aim to launch its first call for applications in the fall/winter of 2023 to 2024. In the coming weeks, the government will consult Flight ET302 family members on the scope and details of a similar scholarship initiative to honour those lost in this air disaster.

Additionally, the Government of Canada is launching a public consultation on a memorial in remembrance of those who have lost their lives in air disasters. Families and members of the public are invited to share their thoughts on the creation of a physical tribute for meaningful commemoration.

Finally, the Government of Canada is advancing the Safer Skies Initiative, working with our international partners to ensure the safety of civilian aircraft travelling in conflict zones. Canada is also working with its partners to review the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) aircraft accident investigations framework.

Together, these actions pay homage to the victims of air disasters and help to ensure that no one suffers such loss in the future. Canada will continue to remember those who were lost, and stand in solidarity with the people they loved. They will not be forgotten. 

Quotes

“Too many Canadians’ lives were forever changed by the loss of a loved one in an air disaster. Most recently, Canadians were amongst the victims of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 and the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash. We will continue to stand by the families of victims, and through the scholarship program and commemoration tribute, we will continue to remember and honour their legacies.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

 “Canada honours the victims of air disasters and continues to support the families of those who perished in Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. To help families of the victims, we have implemented a new permanent residence pathway for certain families in Canada, and we continue to work on establishing a pathway to permanent residence for certain families who are outside Canada. More details on this new pathway will be announced in the coming months.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Air disasters have taken the lives of too many Canadians and left many families grieving the loss of their loved ones. Today, we are announcing a public consultation on how we can best pay tribute and remember those who have lost their lives in an air tragedy. Participation in this survey will ensure we create a meaningful and permanent place where families and those impacted by air disasters are able to find some comfort and peace.”

– The Honourable Pablo Rodriquez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“We are working with our partners to help ensure air disasters, like Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, never happen again. At the same time, we need to honour the memories of those who lost their lives. As we mark the second National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters, we continue to grieve with their families and remember the loved ones lost.”

­­– The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport 

Quick facts

  • Following the air disaster of flight PS752, the government enacted policy measures to issue temporary resident visas to victims’ families who needed to come to Canada to settle affairs. Given the COVID‑19 pandemic, and the inability of some to travel, the government extended this policy. As of November 30, 2021, 240 individuals have been issued temporary resident visas under this public policy.

  • On May 13, 2021, the government announced a permanent residence pathway for in-Canada families of victims of air disasters ET302 and PS752. As of November 30, 2021, 75 individuals have been approved for permanent residence under this pathway. A new permanent residence pathway for certain families who are outside Canada will be launched in the coming months.

  • The Safer Skies Initiative allows countries to work together to share information, advice, warnings, and best practices to better identify and manage risks to civil aviation in or near conflict zones. The initiative aims to develop better risk assessments, effective safeguards, and clear accountability for authorities who manage airspace.

  • From March 29 to 30, 2022, Canada will host the second Safer Skies Forum, bringing together experts from many countries, international organizations, and the civil aviation industry.

  • The public consulation on the physical tribute will run from January 7 to February 7, 2022. A summary of the results will be made available on the Canadian Heritage website. It will inform the vision and objectives of the commemoration.

  • Physical tributes can take many forms—monuments, plaques, commemorative gardens, and more—and should resonate with the affected citizens and be a permanent public space for reflection and contemplation.

  • In October 2021, Canada secured the support of 55 contracting states on our proposal to review the investigation framework through a dedicated ICAO panel. In addition, Transport Canada recently established a dedicated unit to review and identify other opportunities to reform protocols for aircraft accident investigations and to secure broader international support in these efforts.

Associated links

Contacts

Maeva Proteau
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Maeva.Proteau@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Allison.St-Jean@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

Alexander Cohen
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-404-9121
Alexander.cohen@cic.gc.ca

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-952-1650
IRCC.COMMMediaRelationsGroup-GroupeRelationMediasCOMM.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
camille.gagne@canada.ca

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
pch.media-media.pch@canada.ca

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