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

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

330 km walk for charity stopping in Sylvan Lake

Chris Sadleir, 45, is walking from Calgary to Edmonton to raise money for the Lung Association

School curriculum to focus on basics, says LaGrange

Minister Adriana LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer South, said it will ‘unleash student potential’

1 in 7 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19

56 additional cases Thursday, 1,107 active cases remain in the province

Sylvan Lake man’s documentary getting limited run in Alberta theatres

Scott McDermott’s documentary will be in 14 theatres, including Sylvan Lake and Wetaskiwin

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

13-year-old charged in death of boy, 10 in Maskwacis

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Most Read