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Ombudsman’s statement on the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism

June 23, 2021 – Today, we remember the tragedy of Air India Flight 182, the largest mass murder and terrorist act in Canadian history that killed 329 innocent people on board, including 280 Canadians in 1985.

On this National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, we honour the victims who lost their lives and we remember how deeply they are missed by their families. We also pay tribute to the memory of victims of other acts of terrorism including the recent tragic killing of the Afzaal family and many more. We stand in solidarity with the families and friends who have lost loved ones and the survivors living with the pain and trauma caused by these senseless acts of violence.

As Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, I have seen the resilience of survivors and those impacted by terrorism. I have also seen how the long-term impacts of extremist violence cause devastating financial, social and psychological hardships. Unfortunately, concrete supports to aid victims and survivors heal and recover are still lacking in Canada and survivors are left to advocate for themselves. As such, I will continue to make recommendations to federal agencies to strengthen the rights of victims and survivors and make sure their voices are heard. We must empower victims and survivors of terrorism by improving access to justice and guaranteeing services and supports to facilitate healing for affected communities.

Terrorists win if they succeed in isolating and dividing communities. Collectively, we must reject these tactics and provide victims of terrorist violence the due recognition, care and social support needed for their full restoration.


Heidi Illingworth
Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime