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Ombudsman’s statement - National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters


January 8th, 2021 marks one year since Ukraine Airlines Flight PS752 was tragically shot from the skies by the Iranian military over the city of Tehran, Iran. This incident killed all 176 people on board, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents of Canada and 53 others who were on their way to Canada, via Kyiv, that fateful day. Other victims were from Iran, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom. Today, we honour the victims and families of those who perished.

In December, Special Advisor Ralph Goodale published a report on Canada’s ongoing response to the tragedy, which includes valuable lessons learned and recommendations for the future. It recognizes the importance of placing families at the heart of Canada's response. Supporting, assisting, and providing services and information to the families of victims in the aftermath of such tragedies must be a priority. I would like to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of all those who worked on the frontlines of Canada’s response to this tragedy for putting victims first.

It is important to recognize the lifelong trauma caused by this violent event and the impacts on the families, which will evolve over time. We must remain dedicated, responsive and vigilant to their needs.  We also know that the lack of truth, accountability and justice haunts the families, who rightfully demand it.

I stand with the victims of PS752 as they seek the path to justice and healing. I ask that Canada’s ongoing response continue to be characterized by openness and transparency. Most importantly, Canada must remain committed to seeking the truth of what happened, reparations, and justice on behalf of the victims and their families.


Heidi Illingworth
Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime