About 30 Canadian citizens, permanent residents killed on Flight PS752 buried in Iran: Alghabra
OTTAWA -- The remains of about 30 Canadian citizens and permanent residents who were victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 have been buried in Iran, according to the prime minister’s parliamentary secretary.
The plane was shot down by the Iranian military near Tehran last week, killing all 176 people on board, including 57 Canadian citizens.
In an interview on CTV’s Question Period airing Sunday, Omar Alghabra, MP for Mississauga Centre, told host Evan Solomon “about 30 Canadians” -- citizens and permanent residents -- have been buried in Iran. He also said two bodies are being repatriated to Canada “this weekend or the coming days.”
“We are seeing progress,” Alghabra said. “That does not mean we should not be vigilant and careful and watching carefully every step. That’s why we also need a verifiable, independent, investigation.”
Earlier Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a press conference in Ottawa to announce temporary financial support for families of the victims of Flight PS752.
The government will provide $25,000 to the families of Canadian citizens and permanent residents killed in the crash last Wednesday but Trudeau noted this does not replace the anticipated compensation from Iran.
“We expect Iran to compensate these families, but they can’t wait weeks. They need support now,” said Trudeau.
The money will go towards alleviating travel and burial costs. On top of financial assistance, the government has established a support line and online inbox for information about visa concerns.
At the press conference, he also said all families affected were consulted about whether they wanted their loved ones repatriated or buried abroad.
Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne represented Canada in London on Thursday where countries with victims in the crash deliberated how best to move forward with the investigation.
Canada, Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine all called on Iran to respect families' wishes on repatriating the remains of the 176 victims, full access for consular officials and investigators, and an independent and credible criminal investigation into last week's crash.
With files from The Canadian Press