Minister of Transport’s motion in the House of Commons on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752
June 17, 2020 Ottawa Transport Canada
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, presented the following motion in the House of Commons. It received unanimous consent.
WHEREAS Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 was unlawfully shot down on January 8th, 2020 near Tehran, taking the innocent lives of all 176 people on-board, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents, as well as others from Iran, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Afghanistan;
WHEREAS the government of Iran has publicly acknowledged that its military forces fired the missiles that caused these deaths, that it is legally obligated to conduct appropriate and transparent safety and criminal investigations to bring those responsible to justice and to safeguard civil aviation, and that it is obliged to make reparations to the affected States, including in the form of compensation to the families of all the victims, in accordance with international law;
WHEREAS the flight recorders from PS752 have been recovered by Iran, but have not yet been downloaded to allow their data to be analyzed, which should have been done “without delay”, according to international standards, immediately following January 8th (long before any limitations imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic); and
WHEREAS the families of the victims - in Canada, in Iran and in other countries around the world - continue to grieve the tragic and senseless loss of their loved-ones and are anxious to learn the whole truth about what happened to PS752, who was responsible, and how they are being held to account, in addition to seeking honourable treatment with respect to compensation from both the airline and Iran, and in matters related to their on-going safety and peace of mind;
NOW BE IT RESOLVED THAT THIS HOUSE:
1. Express its deep condolences to the families of the victims who lost their lives in the horrific downing of PS752, condemn the perpetrators, and stand in solidarity with the families in the pursuit of transparency, accountability and justice for those families;
2. Support steps taken thus far, including the implementation of a whole-of-government approach to addressing the needs of the families, the provision of consular services, immigration and travel supports, the identification and repatriation of remains, financial support (directly from the government in the form of emergency financial assistance and by matching private donations to the Canada Strong Campaign), mental health and counselling services, a regular on-going flow of information and replies to inquiries, investigative work, the formation of a Canada-led International Coordination and Response Group (CG), launch of the “Safer Skies” initiative at the Munich Security Conference, and Canada’s representations to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO);
3. Call upon all relevant departments and agencies of the Government of Canada to exercise all necessary diligence, persistence and determination to grapple effectively with the complexities inherent in international disasters of this magnitude, as well as the additional impediments created by the COVID-19 pandemic, so the families can ultimately know the truth about what happened, notwithstanding the time and effort such pursuit of justice may require;
4. Call upon the Government of Canada in the meantime:
(a) to pursue, with the other affected States of the CG, negotiations on reparations with Iran to obtain appropriate compensation for the families of the victims from the state of Iran, in addition to the obligations of the airline company;
(b) to resolve outstanding immigration issues in a fair, equitable and compassionate manner;
(c) to implement appropriate means of honouring and commemorating the precious lives lost; and
(d) to help protect families from foreign interference, intimidation, harassment and cyber threats.
5. Support the work of the Government of Canada - in partnership with the international community through the CG and ICAO, and otherwise, to expose as much as possible the sequence of events and the decision-making chain that resulted in deadly missiles being launched against this civilian aircraft contrary to international law, and to determine how and why civilian aircraft were allowed to be in that airspace over a dangerous conflict zone - all in an effort to avoid repetitions of this disastrous set of circumstances.
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