Government of Canada honours victims of Flight PS752 marking three years since the tragedy

News release

January 6, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport; and Ralph Goodale, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, met with family members of victims of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. They reaffirmed the commitment of Canada and the International Coordination and Response Group to hold Iran to account for the senseless deaths of those aboard the flight.  

January 8 will mark three years since the downing, as well as the third National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters. Canada honours the victims of Flight PS752 and all air disasters and continues to stand in solidarity with their families and loved ones.

Canada and its partners in the Coordination Group—Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom—continue to work together to hold Iran accountable for the downing of Flight PS752 and ensure full reparations are made for the deaths of 176 innocent people. On December 28, 2022 the Coordination Group announced an important step forward in the pursuit of accountability in accordance with international law. We have requested that Iran submit to binding arbitration of the dispute related to the downing of Flight PS752 as specified under the 1971 Montreal Convention.

In addition, Canada is working with its international partners to advance the Safer Skies Initiative, which aims to enhance the level of safety and security for commercial airlines travelling in or near conflict zones, and to address gaps in ICAO’s aircraft accident investigation protocols, to ensure that future investigations are conducted in a more credible, transparent and impartial manner.


“Three years ago, flight PS752 was shot down by the Iranian regime. Canada lost a lot of special people that day – mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, educators, students – people who were loved. Nothing can take away from the pain of losing loved ones, but the Government of Canada will continue to be there for the families of the victims as we relentlessly pursue justice and accountability for them. Today, we mourn with you. We will remember them.”

-The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“January 8, 2020 remains etched in the memory of Canadians as the day the Iranian regime violently took the lives of 176 innocent people. We will be relentless in our pursuit of the transparency, accountability and justice so richly deserved by the families of the victims.  Impunity is not an option for this regime that has proven time and time again its complete disregard of human life and human rights.”

-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“On this solemn third anniversary, we grieve with loved ones and we renew our commitment to honour the memories of those were killed on Flight PS752 and all air disasters that have touched Canada. Through our efforts in advancing the Safer Skies Initiative and improving international air accident investigation protocols, we continue to work with our international partners to help ensure air disasters, like Flight PS752, never happen again, and that no one suffers such loss in the future.”

-The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

“As we mourn the loss of those who died in the downing of Flight PS752 three year later, we recognize the surviving family members who continue to grieve and look for answers. We have implemented temporary public policies to provide vital support to the families of Canadian victims. We continue to listen to their concerns and support them where we can.”

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

Quick facts

  • On January 8, 2020 Flight PS752 was shot down minutes after taking off. Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people killed in this tragedy.

  • The Coordination Group was formed to support the families of the victims of PS752 by coordinating legal efforts to pursue accountability by and reparations from Iran so that the families and loved ones might get the answers and justice they deserve.

  • Working with international partners and subject matter experts, Canada is advancing the Safer Skies Initiative to help ensure the safety of civilian aircraft travelling in or near conflict zones.

  • Canada is also advocating for improvements to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) aircraft accident investigation framework, to better adapt it to the context of an aircraft downing and make it more effective in preventing such tragedies.

  • In October 2022, Canada presented a working paper at ICAO’s General Assembly highlighting the progress made under the Safer Skies Initiative and asking ICAO to update key conflict zone risk management guidance. The working paper was universally supported by Assembly members and efforts to review the guidance are underway. Canada also presented a working paper requesting that ICAO work to improve accident investigation protocols be made a priority. The paper gathered the support of 60 countries, which is expected to bolster the ongoing ICAO expert-led process.

Associated links


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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