Mourners place candles and photographs during a vigil for those who were among the 176 people who were killed when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed after takeoff near Tehran, Iran, outside the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan

Prime Minister Trudeau to attend Edmonton memorial service for crash victims

There were dozens of Canadians among the 176 people killed in last Wednesday’s tragedy

Justin Trudeau is scheduled to attend a vigil in Edmonton today to pay his respects and mourn the loss of the victims of the Ukrainian jetliner crash in Iran.

The prime minister will also be speaking at this afternoon’s memorial service at the Saville Community Sports Centre.

There were 57 Canadians among the 176 people killed in last Wednesday’s tragedy, including 13 from the Edmonton area.

Another vigil to honour the victims will be held later this morning at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has acknowledged that an Iranian missile shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 minutes after it took off from Tehran’s airport. Iran’s military said the plane was mistaken for a hostile target.

Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa Saturday he was “outraged and furious” that so many Canadians are grieving because of Iran’s actions, and that Iran must take “full responsibility” for the “horrific” incident.

“This is a tragedy that should not have happened,” he said, and he called for an immediate effort to de-escalate the regional tensions that he says contributed to the “great loss of innocent life.”

In addition to the 57 Canadian citizens on the plane, dozens more were bound for Canada, many of them students and professors returning after spending the December break visiting relatives in Iran.

Rouhani spoke with Trudeau by phone Saturday after posting on Twitter that investigations would continue to “identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake.”

Trudeau said he told Rouhani he expected Canada to be fully involved in the investigation including gaining access to the airplane’s black boxes, and being allowed to participate in DNA identification of the victims. He also demanded consular access for Canadian officials to work with grieving families of Canadian victims in Iran.

Three officials from Global Affairs Canada landed in Tehran Saturday to set up the first Canadian consular presence on the ground since the crash happened. Seven more diplomats and two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board were also waiting for visas to travel to Iran to help.

Canada severed diplomatic ties with Iran in September 2012, closing its embassy and recalling all diplomats. With no diplomatic presence, Italy and Turkey have been aiding Canadians in Tehran.

READ MORE: Iran admits it shot down Ukrainian plane by mistake, killing 176 aboard

READ MORE: ‘Full of smiles’: Friend mourns Iran plane crash victim who wanted to build a life in Canada

VIDEO: UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Sunflower Highway, art initiative to connect Fraser Valley, Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan

Sunflowers made out of reclaimed materials will be installed on public art trails

Residents warned to stay away from flooded Cache Creek park

Water might look shallow, but is several feet deep in places

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Most Read