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12 B.C. residents among 63 Canadians killed in Tehran plane crash



At least 12 B.C. residents were among 63 Canadians killed when a Boeing 737 plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran Wednesday.

At least 12 B.C. residents were among 63 Canadians killed when a Boeing 737 plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran Wednesday.

The Boeing Co. 737-800 jetliner bound for Ukraine that crashed after takeoff in Iran, was most likely brought down by an engine fire, according to a Reuters story.

Many of the passengers were due to take a connecting flight from Kyiv onwards to Toronto.


On Wednesday afternoon, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that connecting flight landed in Toronto with 138 empty seats, indicating that in addition to the 63 Canadians who had died, a further 70-plus non-citizens were bound for Canada as their final destination.

Ukraine International Airlines said all 167 passengers and nine crew members onboard the plane died in the crash. Names of the passengers who were onboard Flight PS752 have been released by the airline.

Here are some of the B.C. residents among those on Flight PS752.

Delaram Dadashnejad

Langara College student Delaram Dadashnejad, 26, was identified as one of the victims by Iran‘s ISNA news agency after the student’s B.C. identity card was found among the wreckage.

Langara president Dr. Lane Trotter said Dadashnejad was an international student taking university transfer classes, and was flying home to Vancouver after a visit with family in Tehran.

“On behalf of the Langara College community, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Delaram Dadashnejad,” Trotter said in a statement.

“The loss of one of our students is one that impacts our entire community. Our Counselling and International Education team will be providing support for our students, while staff and faculty have access to our Employee and Family Assistance Program.

“We are heartbroken over the fatal tragedy that took place; our thoughts and prayers are with those in mourning from this incident.”

B.C. student Delaram Dadashnejad has been named as one of the victims in Wednesday’s plane crash in Tehran.


Mother Ayeshe Pourghaderi and daughter Fatemeh Pasavand

Arash Azrahimi, who owns Rosewood Photography in North Vancouver, said some of the victims were his clients, including a mother, Ayeshe Pourghaderi, 36, and her daughter Fatemeh Pasavand, 17, who lived in North Vancouver.

They are survived by husband/father Amir Pasavand, who owns Amir Bakery on Lonsdale Avenue.

A vigil was planned at the bakery on Wednesday evening.

From left to right Ayeshe Pourghaderi, Amir Pasavand and their daughter Fatemeh Pasavand.


Dr. Firouzeh Madani and Dr. Naser Pourshabanoshibi

Also from North Vancouver and killed in the crash were Dr. Firouzeh Madani and Dr. Naser Pourshabanoshibi.

Madani immigrated to Canada from Iran in September 2013 with her husband and daughter.

In an archived blog post on the New To BC website, Madani was interviewed about her experience working to transfer her medical skills and qualifications to Canada.

“For my husband and I, the biggest challenge faced was finding a job, but the other issue we faced was the fact that our daughter was starting high school in a foreign country,” she said.

In 2015, Madani had taken one of the required three exams that would allow her to begin practicing medicine in Canada. The blog post also spoke about Madani’s support from MOSAIC and Back in Motion – Skills Connect in order to secure work after immigrating. Madani had also spent time working with the North Vancouver City Library as a library champion.

Majid Mahichi, who runs Persian television studio Parvaz TV, is a childhood friend of Pourshabanoshibi who reconnected with him after the latter immigrated in 2013.

“He was one of the top students in town,” said Mahichi. “They decided to upgrade their education in Canada so they moved to a better life here.”

Mahichi said Pourshabanoshibi was kind and highly focused on education.

“Always thinking about a good future, you know? That’s why he moved to Canada, to have a better life,” he told Postmedia.

They are survived by their daughter Kimia Pourshaban Oshibi.

Dr. Naser Pourshabanoshibi and Dr. Firouzeh Madani were aboard Flight PS752 when it crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran.


Couple Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemeh (Faye) Kazerani

North Vancouver couple Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemeh Kazerani also died, according to relative Farzad Taheri. Taheri said Saket, born in 1986, was an engineer and Kazerani, born in 1987, was a dental hygienist.

A photo of the couple, along with a notebook where people could write their memories and condolences, sat on the counter of a North Vancouver development on which Saket had worked. Saket’s employer, Denna Homes, planned to hold a memorial on Saturday.

Vancouver couple Mohammad Hossein (Daniel) Saket and Fatemeh Kazerani were killed in a plane crash Wednesday in Tehran.

Coquitlam family Ardalan Ebnoddin Hamidi, Kamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi, and Niloofar Razzaghi

Three members of a Port Coquitlam family have also been identified as victims – husband and wife Ardalan Ebnoddin-Hamidi and Niloofar Razzaghi, and their teenaged son Kamyar Ebnoddin-Hamidi.

Shahram Hamraz of Coquitlam knew the family through the Tri-City Iranian Cultural Society, an organization where Ardalan, the husband and father, served as a board member.

Hamraz described the family as “very positive in the community.”

“They were so active in our community… and it’s a small community,” Hamraz said. “So it is a loss, really.”

Ardalan Evnoddin-Hamidi, 48, Niloofar Razzaghi, 45, and, Hamyar Ebnoddin Hamidi, 15, of Coquitlam were among the passengers killed when Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran on Wednesday.

Niloofar Razzaghi Facebook photo

Brother and sister Zeynab Asadi Lari and Mohammad Asadi Lari

Brother and sister Zeynab Asadi Lari and Mohammad Asadi Lari, both former UBC students, also died in the crash.

According to social media posts, the brother and sister have recently been living in the Toronto area.

UBC president and vice-chancellor Santa Ono said Zeynab enrolled at UBC in 2016 in the Bachelor of Science program, with a biology major, while Mohammad graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in cellular, anatomical and physiological sciences with honours standing.

Mohammad was also co-founder of the STEM fellowship, a youth-run Canadian non-profit organization that uses mentors to give students skills in data science and scholarly writing.

“On behalf of the UBC community, I wish to express my deepest condolences to their family, friends and loved ones,” Ono said in a statement. “This is a challenging time for UBC’s Iranian students, faculty and staff and we understand developments internationally and domestically in Iran are a cause of deep concern for them.”

Former UBC student Zeynab Asadi Lari was among the victims of the plane crash Wednesday in Tehran. She was studying in Vancouver.

Former UBC student Mohammad Asadi Lari was among the passengers killed when Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran on Wednesday.


What people are saying

B.C. Premier John Horgan said the province joins with nations around the world in “mourning this tragic loss of life.”

President of Langara College Lane Trotter offered condolences to the family of Dadashnejad on behalf of the community at Langara.

Trotter said Delaram was an international student taking university transfer classes, and was flying home to Vancouver after a visit with family in Tehran.

“The loss of one of our students is one that impacts our entire community. Our Counselling and International Education team will be providing support for our students, while staff and faculty have access to our Employee and Family Assistance Program,” Trotter said, in a statement.

“We are heartbroken over the fatal tragedy that took place; our thoughts and prayers are with those in mourning from this incident.”

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said he was “deeply saddened by the news” and offered condolences to the families.

“My thoughts and condolences are with the loved ones of everyone who was on board Flight 752. We do know some of those lost were from British Columbia’s Persian community, and we are offering our support to the entire community during this terrible time,” he said, in a statement Wednesday.

“On behalf of the entire BC Liberal Caucus, I want to extend my deepest and most sincere sympathies to the friends and loved ones of all the passengers and flight crew.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “shocked and saddened” and said the Canadian government will work closely with its international partners to ensure that this crash is thoroughly investigated.

— With files from Reuters



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Canada’s athletes began their Olympic journeys from humble beginnings



Parents, siblings and love of sport, although not necessarily their own Olympic sport at first, is a common origin story of how Canada’s athletes got started in their chosen sport.

A capsule look at some beginnings:

Tammara Thibeault, Shawinigan, Que., boxing

“I got into boxing when I was nine. My dad was a CFL player, a wide receiver with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. During his off-season, he’d go to the boxing club to stay in shape. He dragged his three kids along at the time and I fell in love with the sport.”

Phil (Wizard) Kim, Vancouver, breaking

“I started breaking because there was a local crew called the Now or Never Crew and they were performing in front of the art gallery in Vancouver, which is a very common busking spot. I saw it, it blew my mind. I was like ‘that would totally impress people. I could get girls with that.’ One of them actually came to my school. They were teaching hip-hop choreography, but I went up to him and I asked him if he taught breaking. He said yes and gave me a card.”

Eric Peters, Ottawa, archery

“I was a nerdy kid who played a bunch of video games and read a bunch of books and thought it was really cool. I decided I wanted to do this and then I found out it was in the Olympics. I was like ‘OK, I guess I really want to do this now.'”

Katie Vincent, Mississauga, Ont., sprint canoe

“I got into canoeing at the Mississauga Canoe Club, which is the local canoe club near my house. It was just their summer camp that my parents put my brother and I into when I was around 10. We’ve been members ever since, and it’s gotten me from summer camp to the Olympics.

Aaron Brown, Toronto, track and field

“The common denominator with all the sports that I did was that I was fast. It was a natural progression for me to get into track. I did soccer, I did football, I played basketball, a little bit of volleyball, some tee ball, and then track just for fun. When my club coach in high school Bill Stephens saw me run, he said, ‘hey, I think you should take this seriously and come up from a club team because I think you can go pretty far.'”

Fay De Fazio Ebert, Toronto, skateboarding

“I did track and cross-country when I was in elementary school. There was a March break lesson at Impact Skate Club. We went and we bought a board right after because I felt so connected to it. I don’t remember the exact feeling, but I remember feeling I’ve done it before. People were asking ‘has she done this before?’ and I said ‘No, I haven’t.'”

Sarah Mitton, Brooklyn, N.S., shot put

“I got into shot putting in junior high school. It was kind of the next sport on the docket and I was a super-athletic kid. Went out to a local competition and I ended up doing really well. This coach came up to me and she was like, ‘who are you? we need to get you throwing the shot put.’ I remember having to beg my mom to let me join like this track club after like one day of track and field.”

Felix Dolci, Laval, Que., gymnastics

“I started doing many sports such as hockey, soccer. I had too much energy. My mom said ‘you need something else. Something that is more demanding.’ She put me in gymnastics because she was a gymnast when she was younger. She thought it was a great idea because I was jumping everywhere on the walls.”

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, Quebec City, track and field

“I tried all sports. The common denominator for all of those was that I was the quick one, or the one that never got tired. Against my will, my phys-ed teacher put me in cross-country and track every year in high school. That’s the sport I hated the most. I would rather run after a ball. By my last year of high school, it was pretty obvious the one sport I had the most talent in was track and field and middle-distance running.”

Olivia Apps, Lindsay, Ont., rugby

“I started playing in Grade 10 at high school. I played soccer all my life. Growing up, I actually wanted to go to the Olympics for soccer or for hockey, and then I found rugby. Anyone who plays rugby would say the same thing, the off-field environment and the passion for the game is pretty addictive.”

Cam Levins, Black Creek, B.C., marathon

“I started running, my parents would say as soon as I could walk. My first actual race was a short cross-country race in second grade. It was a 2k loop in our area and we got to race with the third graders. It’s like their last race of the year, and they let second graders do it. I really just wanted to do every sort of sport I could. I had an older brother, who was also doing it and quite good at it, and so I wanted to do everything he did as well. I ended up joining a local track club in seventh grade.”

Sanoa Dempfle-Olin, Tofino, B.C., surfing

“I went into surfing because of my oldest sister and my mom. My mom, she loved the ocean and she liked surfing when she got out there. My sister got into it. Because she’s almost three years older than me she kind of helped me get out there and anything she was doing, I wanted to keep up and do it as well.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

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10,000 unionized employees return to work, stores to reopen Tuesday: LCBO



TORONTO – Workers are back on the job today at Ontario’s main liquor retailer, but the Liquor Control Board of Ontario says stores won’t be open for business until Tuesday.

The union representing 10,000 of its workers announced Sunday members had ratified a new deal with the liquor retailer to end a strike that had closed its stores for two weeks.

The ratification came after the deal seemed to be up in the air on Friday.

Both OPSEU and the LCBO had announced a tentative agreement had been reached but the union said the strike would continue after the employer refused to sign a return-to-work protocol.

The retailer said the union had introduced new monetary demands and the employer would file an unfair labour practice complaint.

But the LCBO issued a statement on Saturday saying reopening plans were back underway, and a return-to-work protocol signed by both parties does not include any “new monetary items.”

OPSEU had said they believed Premier Doug Ford’s plan to expand alcohol sales to convenience and grocery stores would threaten union jobs and the public revenue the LCBO provides to the province.

Ford has sped up those plans since the strike began on July 5, allowing grocery stores already licensed to sell beer and wine to also sell ready-to-drink cocktail beverages as of Thursday.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Markets bet on second Bank of Canada interest rate cut coming this week



Economists and market watchers are betting the Bank of Canada will deliver another interest rate cut this week amid mounting evidence that inflation issustainably easing.

Expectations that the bank will lower its overnight lending rate when it makes its scheduled announcement Wednesday have been high since last week’s release of the latest Statistics Canada inflation report, which showed annual inflation cooled to 2.7 per cent in June.

The inflation reading was less than the 2.8 per cent that markets had been expecting and has helped to build market confidence that the Bank of Canada may be poised for a second rate cut, on top of the 25-basis-point cut it announced last month.

“I think it’s very likely the Bank of Canada cuts rates again next week. It wouldn’t really make sense from a strategic point of view to only cut rates 25 basis points and then leave them there and see how the economy responds, because that wouldn’t really cause a lot of change in the trajectory of the economy or inflation,” said Royce Mendes, managing director and head of macro strategy at Desjardins.

“So it always made sense that the Bank of Canada was likely going to do at least two rate cuts in a row before pausing. And now recent data has reinforced that view.”

Last month’s interest rate cut, which reduced the central bank’s key rate from five to 4.75 per cent, was the first in more than four years.

In addition to the latest inflation report, Mendes said, recent data showing rising unemployment as well as subdued expectations for growth by Canadian businesses all support the prospect of another cut.

While inflation remains higher than the Bank of Canada’s two per cent target, Mendes said he believes delaying any longer could have negative repercussions.

“The interest rates at the levels they are (currently) are actually very restrictive. You can see it in consumer spending trends. You can see it in the housing market,” Mendes said.

“I would say if (the Bank of Canada) didn’t cut next week, it would signal a much greater willingness to tip the economy into recession, just for the sake of getting inflation down a few tenths of a percentage point more.”

The latest Statistics Canada report on retail sales Friday showed Canadians reined in their spending in May as retail sales dropped 0.8 per cent to $66.1 billion.

Sales were lower in eight of the nine subsectors tracked, the agency said.

“What the Bank of Canada is trying to do is just reduce the amount of restraint it is placing on the economy. It’s not trying to stimulate the economy, it’s just trying to reduce the amount of headwinds it’s providing,” Mendes said, adding a second rate cut could make Canadian consumers begin to feel more confident about spending again.

The most recent data on the Canadian job market shows the economy stalling in June, losing 1,400 jobs while the unemployment rate rose to 6.4 per cent, from 6.2 per cent in May.

The June result was the highest reading for the unemployment rate since January 2022, another indication that raises the odds of the Bank of Canada lowering rates this week.

But while most market watchers believe an interest rate cut will come this week and be followed by additional cuts later in the year, that view is not unanimous.

Clay Jarvis, mortgage and real estate expert for NerdWallet Canada, said this week’s decision could go either way.

“Considering how cautious the bank is, reducing the overnight rate when inflation is still well over two per cent would be fairly uncharacteristic,” Jarvis said in a note.

If the cut does happen, shaving 25 basis points off of variable interest rates is unlikely to be enough to shake up Canada’s housing market significantly, Jarvis added, as buyers grapple with the prospect of higher mortgage payments.

A survey conducted by CPA Canada (an organization which represents professional accountants) and BDO Debt Solutions conducted shortly after the June rate cut found half of Canadians say interest rate hikes have negatively impacted their debt loads, with seven out of 10 saying the June cut had no impact on their financial outlook.

The survey also found 52 per cent of respondents believe continued interest rate cuts won’t go far enough to reduce the financial strain.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

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