January 8th, 2021
Statement on the One Year Anniversary of the Downing of Flight 752
One year ago today, 176 people died when the Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by the Iranian Government over Tehran. This senseless global tragedy impacted Canadians from coast to coast. 138 of the passengers who died that day were headed home to Canada.
Over the hours and days that followed, as Canadians learned more about our nations' victims – their potential and their promise – the magnitude of what had been lost came into focus. We shared the anguish of the families and friends left behind, and we grieved together.
In addition to the heartbreaking loss of loved ones, families of the victims also faced intimidation and harassment from Iranian officials both within Canada and abroad. These actions included interventions at funerals, the withholding of personal effects, disturbing communications, stalking, and detentions and interrogations. In response to these despicable actions, Heather McPherson, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Strathcona and NDP Deputy Critic for Foreign Affairs, tabled and received unanimous consent from the House of Commons for a motion condemning all those who perpetrated such intimidation. Subsequent action by the government has resulted in the annual designation of January 8 as the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters.
One year later, there are still many unanswered questions about how this tragedy happened and it is clear that much needs to be done to prevent similar disasters from occurring again. New Democrats are calling on the Government of Canada and the international community to implement legislation and regulations that ensure increased transparency, accountability, and justice for this and all future investigations.
“Canadians deserve to know what happened. We must work with our global partners to achieve justice for the victims and their families,” McPherson said. “Moreover, the Government of Canada must ensure that all of the Canadian families impacted have the support and security they need to overcome this tragedy.”