LONDON – On Sunday 8 January, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement to mark the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters.
The declaration of a National Day of Remembrance
The downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 on January 8, 2020 caused the deaths of 176 people, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 Canadian permanent residents and numerous others with ties to Canada.
Significant air disasters such as Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and Air India flight 182 have claimed thousands of victims worldwide, including Canadians who have lost their lives or loved ones.
Accordingly, Canada has proclaimed January 8 every year to be set aside as a day of observation and remembrance.
Statement by PM Justin Trudeau
Marking the Canadian National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated the following: “Air disasters have claimed the lives of far too many Canadians.”
“Today, on the third National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters, I join people across Canada and Canadians around the world to honour the people we have lost to these tragedies and mourn alongside those they left behind.”
“On this solemn occasion, we remember the victims of all air disasters, including Air Ontario Flight 1363, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (Flight ET302), Air India Flight 182, and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (Flight PS752).”
“Canada is a world leader in safety and security in civil aviation. The Government of Canada is working to ensure the safety and security of air travel worldwide by collaborating with partners to prevent further tragic losses of life.”
“With our international partners, we are taking concrete action to ensure Iran is held accountable for its egregious and unlawful downing of Flight PS752.”
“Canada is also demonstrating strong leadership on the Safer Skies Initiative, alongside international partners, to ensure the safety of civilian aircraft travelling in or near conflict zones.”
“We continue to advocate for the International Civil Aviation Organization to review its aircraft accident investigation framework, to enhance the transparency and credibility of investigations. We continue to support the families and loved ones of the victims of tragic air disasters.”
“In summer 2022, the government launched a pathway to permanent residence for family members of victims of Flight ET302 and Flight PS752 who are outside Canada and who have close ties to surviving family members in Canada.”
“We are working to provide 176 scholarships, averaging $25,000 each, in memory of the victims of Flight PS752.”
“Canada has also established the Commemoration Fund for the Victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Tragedy, which includes scholarships and support for commemorative projects that pay tribute to the victims.”
“As we honour the victims of air disasters, we stand with families, friends, and all those who have lost loved ones to these tragedies. We will always remember them.”
Safer Skies Initiative
Through its Safer Skies Initiative, Canada works with states, international organizations, the civil aviation industry, and the International Civil Aviation Organization, to enhance the level of safety and security for commercial airlines travelling in or near conflict zones.
Transport Canada established the Conflict Zone Information Office to monitor high risk areas and provide guidance to Canadian air carriers operating in those areas.
The Conflict Zone Information Office issues airspace notifications to air carriers when risks are deemed too high in a certain airspace.