Victims remembered on anniversary of Air India bombing
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews look on as a candle is lit at a memorial service for Air India Flight 182, Thursday, June 23, 2011 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/ THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Saturday, June 23, 2012 2:05PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, June 23, 2012 2:16PM EDT
Families and friends of victims of the Air India Flight 182 bombing are remembering lost loved ones on Saturday, as Canadians commemorate the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism.
June 23 marks the 27 years since Air India Flight 182 exploded in mid-air while enroute from Montreal to Delhi.
The 1985 bomb attack killed everyone aboard the plane. A total of 329 people were killed, including 280 Canadians. The incident remains Canada’s largest mass murder to date.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper called for all Canadians to recognize the victims of all terrorist attacks in a statement on Saturday.
“Today, we mark the anniversary of the worst act of terrorism in Canadian history -- the bombing of Air India Flight 182. As we remember those who lost their lives in this barbaric attack, let us also take the time to remember all the other victims of terrorist acts around the world,” read the statement.
Harper said the best way to honour victims of terrorism is to take steps to ensure such “heinous” acts don’t happen again.
Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae and deputy NDP leader Libby Davies also took time to recognize the day.
“As the worst encounter with terrorism that this country has ever experienced, the Air India bombing serves as a constant reminder to Canadians of the perils of hatred and complacency. While we strive collectively to ensure that such feelings never again prevail, Canada continues to fight against terrorism and extremism through political discourse, co-operative policing and inter-faith dialogue,” said Rae in a statement released on Saturday.
In a message posted to the NDP website, Davies stressed that the Air India tragedy is a Canadian one, not a foreign one.
“For too long, some have looked upon the Air India disaster as a foreign tragedy, but it was a Canadian tragedy,” she wrote. Davies also called on all parties to work together to prevent future attacks.
“As parliamentarians, we stand with the community and resolve to ensure that these acts of violence are never repeated,” she wrote.
Investigations and prosecutions of the tragic bombing lasted nearly 20 years, making the trial the most expensive in Canadian history.
Only one person, Inderjit Singh Reyat, was convicted in connection with the bombing.
In 2006, a public inquiry investigating the bombing was launched. The inquiry released their findings in a report in June 2010.
The report, titled “A Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182” concluded that a number of errors by Crown ministries, the RCMP and CSIS facilitated the terrorist attack.