Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed media in Ottawa Friday, regarding downed passenger flight PS752, which saw the tragic death of 176, including 57 Canadians.
The flight was confirmed to have been shot down by Iranian missiles by the Pentagon, and earlier this week it was confirmed that it was in fact two, not one missile that was shot at the flight.
Trudeau began his address by giving sincere condolences and announced measures in which the government would be aiding the families of those with victims, including $25,000 dollars per victim to assist with immediate needs such as funeral arrangements or travel.
“Let me be clear: we expect Iran to compensate these families,” said Trudeau. “I have met them. They can’t wait weeks. They need support now.”
“Canada continues to call for a thorough and credible investigation into last week’s tragedy,” Trudeau continued.
Trudeau’s updates come as Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne travelled to Oman for a meeting with Iranian Foreign Ministers.
Champagne was also in Britain Thursday for a meeting with nations of those who lost citizens in the crash: Afghanistan, Canada, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
When asked to expand of the $25,000 figure, Trudeau clarified: “We have been meeting with families over the past weeks, I’ve had direct conversations with them with the needs their facing, to the bills they’re facing to credit cards that are maxed out, to real questions about how to get back to Iran to support their families there, or bring people over at a time where air travel is increasingly limited in the region and expensive,” said Trudeau.
“We in discussion with those families came at the $25,000 per victim initiative, but obviously this is immediate assistance for the needs they might have, it is not the compensation we expect will come or should come from Iran in due course, but these families need help now, and we will be getting this money to them as quickly as we possibly can in the coming days.”
When asked how much Iran would pay, Trudeau stated there was no figure as of yet, “but I can assure you that any money from Iran to the victims would go straight to them, it wouldn’t be to reimburse the Canadian government.”
Trudeau said he came to the $25,000 figure after meeting with families and understanding their needs.
When asked to what extent Trudeau believed the assassination of General Suleimani had for the downing of the plane and whether or not Americans had any culpability, Trudeau responded:
“The Irans bear full responsibility, for having shot down the civilian airline with 57 Canadians abroad, 176 passengers. We will be working very hard alongside partners internationally to bring down tensions in the region on all sides, to look to de-escalation and stability in the region.”
In regards to black boxes on the flight, Trudeau stated that they had been severely damaged, and that Iran did not have technology capable of recovering the information on them, though France does and would be playing a roll in recovering the data.
During Trudeau’s last address to the media, the prime minister was barraged with questions about whether or not the United States had to bear any responsibility. While initially dodging questions about culpability, Trudeau would go on to blame “escalations” in the region for the downing of the plane.
“If there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” said Trudeau in his interview with Dawna Friesen.
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