The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 17, 2020 7:47AM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 17, 2020 1:25PM EST
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will provide $25,000 to the families of each of the 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents who died when Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet last week.
Trudeau says the money is intended to cover the cost of funeral arrangements or travel, and it’s on top of an earlier commitment to waive fees and speed up processing times for visas for those affected by the crash.
“This is a unique and unprecedented situation, because of the international sanctions placed on Iran and the difficulties that that imposes on these families,” Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa Friday.
“I want to be clear: we expect Iran to compensate these families,” he said, but noted that could take time.
“I have met them. They can’t wait weeks. They need support now.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne was in Oman to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, to talk about the shooting down of the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, which killed 176 people last week.
That meeting comes after Canada and four other countries with citizens aboard the downed airliner came up with a list of demands for Iran, which includes pressing that country to co-operate with the investigation.
The countries are all asking that Iran punish those responsible and compensate the families of victims.
It has been just over a week since one – and possibly a second – Iranian surface-to-air missile took down the passenger jet minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport.
The Canadian Press has independently confirmed at least 90 victims with ties to Canada, many of them students and professors returning after spending the December break visiting relatives in Iran.
In a rare sermon during Friday prayers, Iran‘s supreme leader called the downing of the civilian airliner a bitter accident that saddened Iran and made its enemies happy.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran‘s international rivals have seized on the crash to question the country and its armed forces.
He also attacked the United States for its killing of a top Iranian general, which was a factor in putting Iranian air defences on high alert, and called President Donald Trump a clown.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2020.
– With files from The Associated Press
Trudeau announces $25K for families of Canadian PS752 victims – CTV News
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced Ottawa will pay $25,000 in compensation for each of the Canadian victims of the downed Ukrainian airline.
On Friday morning, PM Trudeau said the families of all Canadian citizens and the additional 29 permanent residents killed would be provided the financial allotment “to assist with their immediate needs, such as funeral arrangements and travel.”
The announcement comes after the prime minister attended a closed-door meeting with the government’s Incident Response Group to discuss the crash and the ongoing investigation into how Flight PS752 was the shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile more than a week ago.
Trudeau said his team decided on the amount of compensation after consulting with victims’ families about such needs as travel costs. Funding earmarked for the 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents who were killed when the airliner crashed brings the federal government’s total commitment to $2.1 million.
“It is not the compensation that we expect will come and 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.”
As previously announced, the government has also established a phone line and inbox for families with immigration-related requests, and is waiving or reimbursing travel visa costs.
Mental health services are also being made available for those affected.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is in Muscat, Oman today, meeting with his Iranian counterpart Jayad Zarif. This will be the third time the two have spoken and first time they’ve met since the crash.
In a rare sermon during Friday prayers, Iran’s supreme leader called the downing of the civilian airliner a bitter accident that saddened Iran and made its enemies happy.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran’s international rivals have seized on the crash to question the country and its armed forces. He also attacked the United States for its killing of a top Iranian general, which was a factor in putting Iranian air defences on high alert, and called President Donald Trump a clown.
On Thursday, countries with victims in the crash – Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan, and Ukraine – met in London to deliver a succinct message to Tehran on priorities like access, compensation, and repatriating remains.
Their memo was clear: be prepared to respond in the form of financial reimbursement for families’ losses.
“We are judging Iran every day, demand by demand,” Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said after the meeting.
Trudeau on Friday said his team continues to push for more access to the black boxes to indicate what exactly happened in the minutes before the plane set ablaze but noted they were “significantly damaged” during the crash.
“Iran does not have the level of technical expertise and mostly the equipment necessary to be able to analyze these damaged black boxes quickly; there are only a few places in the world that can.”
France, he noted, is one of those places and there is brewing “consensus” that sending them there would be a good start.
As to whether Iran is cooperating with the international community on their calls for a rigorous investigation, Trudeau said “so far, the people we’ve engaged with in Iran have been aligned with that wish.”
A friend of one of the victims told CTV News on Friday she welcomes the prime minister’s announcement and efforts to seek justice for those impacted.
“We really appreciate what the prime minister started to do from the very first day. It was a big support and it really helped us, it helped the family, everyone,” said Shadi Ashtari.
With files from CTV News’ Michel Boyer & The Canadian Press
U.K. tabloid warns Prince Harry, Meghan Markle of ‘psychopathic bears’ in Canada – Global News
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle face a long list of “perils” in Canada, including “psychopathic bears,” “vampire flies,” “jagged cliffs” and “frigid” temperatures, according to a column published in a U.K. tabloid by a former editor of the Globe and Mail.
The Daily Mail story by British journalist Richard Addis has riled up some Canadians amid confusion over whether the piece is satirical, ignorant or a bit of both. The web headline on the story reads: “Bears and vampire flies are perils Harry and Meghan will face.”
Addis, who served as the Globe and Mail’s editor from 1999 to 2002, frequently cites his own experience with Canada in offering a supposed glimpse of what the royals can expect from the country.
“It is stunningly beautiful. Everything works. Crime is relatively non-existent. And it only pretends to be boring in order to keep Americans out,” Addis writes, before delving into his grievances with the country.
“The animals are psychopaths,” he writes, adding that even the heaviest creatures “can move faster than the most fleet of foot among us.”
Addis goes on to describe the mauling death of Mary Beth Miller, a 24-year-old biathlete who was attacked by a bear outside a training centre near Quebec City in 2000. Addis was working at the Globe and Mail when it reported on her death in detail.
“Even she couldn’t run fast enough,” Addis writes in his Daily Mail story published on Friday.
Addis goes on to complain about the blackflies in over-the-top language.
“There are 165 species of blackfly in Canada and from May to July they turn the countryside into the lowest circle of hell,” he writes. “The blackfly has razor-sharp jaws which puncture the skin. Blood streams out.”
Addis also complains about the winter and claims that one wouldn’t “dare go skiing at Mont-Tremblant near Montreal without a liberal covering of frostbite cream.”
Prince Harry makes first public appearance since stepping back from senior royal duties
The British journalist peppers his story with anecdotes about sawing through lake ice to get water, doing a “J-stroke” with a canoe and riding in a small plane through the “Northern Territories” alongside Margaret Atwood.
He also claims Canadians’ stomachs have a “characteristic bulge” from all the poutine they eat and writes at length about how to supposedly use the cliched word “eh.”
“Much of Canadian conversation consists of flat statements with an ‘eh’ at the end, as in: ‘You’re coming to the ice hockey match, eh.’ You have to treat it as a question.”
He wraps up the piece by wishing “happy landings” to the Sussexes.
“Whatever the drawbacks, I’m sure you won’t regret it.”
The piece is one of several Daily Mail stories scrutinizing or outright criticizing Markle and Harry for their departure. They’ve fixated on everything from Markle’s coat to Harry’s hairline in the wake of their move to Canada.
A few Twitter users compared the Daily Mail story to another controversial take on Canada from the New York Times last week. The outlet ran a story that suggested Harry and Markle would inject “some razzle dazzle” into the “sprawling, bone-chillingly cold” Canada.
Prince Harry and Markle have spoken openly about their disdain for the United Kingdom’s relentless tabloid media scrutiny.
Justice For Girls shares details from royal visit with Duchess of Sussex
The couple announced earlier this month that they would “step back” from their senior royal duties and pursue a path toward financial independence. They also declared they would drop out of the “royal rota” system that grants media access to a wide range of U.K. outlets, including the tabloids that have been fiercely critical of them.
They say in the future, they will focus on engaging with “grassroots media organizations and young, up-and-coming journalists.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Canada offers $25K to families of Canadian victims on Flight PS752 – CBC.ca
Canada will give the families of individuals killed in the downing of UIA Flight PS752 thousands of dollars to help with their immediate needs, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today — stressing it’s only a first step toward getting Iran to compensate those grieving families.
“I want to be clear, we expect Iran to compensate these families,” Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa Friday morning.
“But I have met them. They can’t wait weeks. They need support now.”
Of the 176 passengers and crew killed, 57 were Canadian citizens and 29 were permanent residents, said the prime minister.
He said the government will give those families $25,000 per victim to help cover the cost of immediate needs such as funeral arrangements and flights. Earlier this week, the government announced it also would waive fees and speed up visa processing times for those affected by the tragedy.
About 20 families have asked for their loved ones’ remains to be returned to Canada, with others have said they want their family members buried in Iran, said Trudeau.
No bodies have been returned yet, added the prime minister, but he said the first remains will begin their trip home in the coming days.
Trudeau’s latest update comes as Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne is in Oman for a rare face-to-face meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif following last week’s disaster near Tehran. Canada cut diplomatic ties with the country in 2012.
“Minister Zarif conveyed his profound regret for this terrible tragedy and Minister Champagne noted that he had met with families of victims this week who are deeply hurt and angry,” says a readout of the meeting from Champagne’s office.
According to his office, Champagne pushed for concrete action after Canada — along with four other nations that lost citizens in the crash — gathered earlier this week to discuss Iran’s role in shooting down the flight.
“That is what we continue to push on. That is what the international community is pushing on,” said Trudeau. “So far, the people we’ve engaged with in Iran have been aligned with that wish, for now.”
A list of demands
Ministers from five nations affected by the crash — Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom — listed their demands of Iran during a meeting in London on Thursday. They include a full investigation of the crash and an independent criminal probe.
Their other demands are:
- Full access within Iran to allow them to provide consular services to relatives of the victims.
- Assurance that the victim identification process is conducted with “dignity, transparency and to international standards, and to ensure families’ wishes are respected.”
- A commitment from Iran that it will continue to assume full responsibility for the disaster and co-operate with compensation talks.
Under international law, Iran is leading the latest aviation investigation because the crash occurred within its borders, but there are precedents for handing that responsibility over to another country that suffered losses.
Trudeau said the flight’s black box recorders were “significantly” damaged, adding there are only a few laboratories in the world, including one in France, that can process broken flight recorders quickly.
In a rare sermon during Friday prayers, Iran’s supreme leader called the destruction of the civilian airliner a bitter accident that saddened Iran and made its enemies happy.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran’s international enemies have seized on the crash to question the country and its armed forces.
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