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Canadians hope for answers from Trudeau towards Ukrainian Airlines shot down by an Iranians



Political leaders can’t change the cards they are dealt but they can control how they play their hand.

The bombshell revelation by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 was in all likelihood shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile was an important moment in his political leadership.

He has been caught in the turmoil of the Mideast showdown between America and Iran, as we all have. But his reaction does not instil confidence that the families of the 63 Canadians who perished will see any kind of justice.

To give Trudeau credit, he has been visible, holding press conferences two days in a row. But on Thursday, he stuck rigidly to the line that we need a thorough investigation into the tragedy before discussing next steps.


“The families want answers. I want answers – closure, transparency, accountability and justice,” he said. “This government will not rest until we get that.”

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a news conference in Ottawa on January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable

There was no anger about the tyranny of the Iranian regime; no unease about its duplicity, even as a researcher for the investigative website Bellingcat said he found it “very distressing” that bulldozers are being used to clear the crash site, potentially a mass murder scene.

Instead, the prime minister expressed a bizarre solidarity with Iran. The tragedy “binds us together in our grief”, he said.

The Iranian people are undoubtedly grief-stricken – their citizens made up the majority of the victims – which is precisely why the Ayatollahs will never admit that its trigger-happy military is responsible.

Trudeau was grilled about the investigation being compromised but clung to the line that such questions made it all the more important that Canada and its international partners be included in the investigation. “The Iranians have indicated they understand this,” he said.

The desire to collect evidence is understandable. After Iran Air flight 655 was mistakenly shot down by the U.S. Navy in 1988, with the death of all 290 people on board, Iran took the U.S. to the International Court of Justice. The case was dropped in 1996 and reparations of US$62 million paid by the Americans.

But anyone who has followed Iranian politics for more than five minutes knows there will be no transparency or accountability.

If Canadians were looking for their prime minister to express their fury and the anguish, they were sorely disappointed. All those young families, students, brilliant academics and newly weds; all those lives unfulfilled. The number of dead Canadians is officially listed as 63 but it was likely that many more of the 138 people who were due to fly into Toronto from Kyiv lived here too. Of the eight Ottawa residents who died, only two held Canadian passports.

This wasn’t an act of God, it was an act of man.

The thought that their deaths were the result of a blunder – likely air defences on high alert after the Iranians bombed a military base in Iraq (where Canadian troops were stationed, incidentally) is exasperating and it demands a tougher response.

In truth, it’s not clear what Canada can do. We don’t have diplomatic relations with Iran, so we can’t withdraw our ambassador. American sanctions already apply to 80 per cent of the Iranian economy, so making Iran’s isolation absolute would be hard.

There have been calls from people like former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler to use the Magnitsky Act against Iran’s leaders

The Conservatives urged the Liberals to act on a motion passed by Parliament in 2018 that named Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. But the Qods Force, the armed wing of the IRGC, is already listed and that has had a limited impact in curbing the excesses of this brutal regime.

There have been calls from people like former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler to use the Magnitsky Act against Iran’s leaders. It authorizes the government to impose sanctions such as travel bans and assets freezes on individuals deemed responsible for human rights violations. “It is a novel, necessary and just foreign policy option that has not yet been exercised,” he said last year.

Yet it’s not clear that many of the despots who run Iran have bank accounts or other assets in Canada.

Trudeau’s line, even before the plane came down, has been to encourage a de-escalation of tension in the region. But if the families are to have closure and justice for the loss of their loved ones, Ottawa has to find a point of leverage and exploit it.

The Trudeau government’s position since it was elected in 2015 has been to re-engage with countries like Iran and Russia, after the Conservatives severed ties. “Our world is highly imperfect and to improve it we must engage with it with our eyes open, not withdraw from it,” said then foreign affairs minister, Stéphane Dion in his infamous “responsible conviction” speech in 2016.

But the mullahs support terror organizations, threaten to blow Israel off the map with ballistic missiles and prop up the murderous Assad regime in Syria.

This is not a regime that wants to “engage”. This is not a regime that is going to admit its mistakes.

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Air Canada flights delayed due to IT issue – CTV News



Air Canada reported a technical issue with its flight communications system on Thursday, causing delays across the country for the second time in a week.

In a statement to, the Montreal-based company said it was experiencing a “temporary technical issue” with the system it uses to communicate with aircraft and monitor the performance of its operations.

By Thursday afternoon, the airline said the system had “begun to stabilize,” though flights were expected to be impacted for the remainder of the day.


“The communicator system has begun to stabilize, and aircraft continue to move although still at a lower than normal rate. As a result, customers may experience delays and in some instances cancellations as we move through recovery,” Air Canada said.

“Customers are advised to check the status of their flight before going to the airport as we anticipate the impact will persist through the balance of the day.”

As a result of the system failure, the airline said it implemented a “flexible policy,” allowing customers who wished to change their travel plans to do so at no cost.

Speaking to reporters before question period, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the federal government has been in touch with Air Canada and is encouraging the airline to get its communications system back up and running “as quickly as possible.”

“They understand the consequences of these delays and we’ll keep following up on the situation,” said Alghabra.

The system failure caused delays for the majority of flights scheduled to depart from the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport on Thursday morning, said Michel Rosset, communications manager for the Winnipeg Airports Authority.

Some Air Canada flights in the afternoon and evening were scheduled to run on time at the Winnipeg airport, but Rosset advised passengers to look online for updated flight information as that could change.

“With flights, even on a good day, things could change pretty quickly. So I’d recommend, if you’re looking for updated (flight information) throughout the day, the best bet is just to head to our website,” he told in a phone interview.

Leah Batstone, communications and marketing advisor for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, said the Halifax airport was aware of the “IT issue” that Air Canada was experiencing and recommended passengers to keep tabs on their flight status.

“As always, travellers are advised to check their flight status directly with their airline before coming to the airport,” Batstone said in an emailed statement to

Air Canada was forced to ground its planes last week due to a similar problem with its communications system, which delayed nearly half its flights.

The airline said the issue it experienced this Thursday was in the “same systems as that of May 25, but it was unrelated.”

“We have been in the process of upgrading this system using a third-party supplier’s technology. Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future,” it said.

“We apologize for the impact on our customers and appreciate their patience. We are working hard to get people on their way as soon as possible.”

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Air Canada flight delays at Toronto Pearson | CTV News – CTV News Toronto



Several Air Canada flights are delayed at Toronto Pearson International Airport due to a temporary technical issue.

The Canadian airline said its system used to communicate with aircraft and monitor operational performance is impacted. Flights were delayed all across the airline’s system as a result, a spokesperson for Air Canada confirmed to CTV News Toronto.

At around 1:30 p.m., the airline said the communicator system has “begun to stabilize,” with flights continuing to move “although still at a lower than normal rate.”


“As a result, customers may experience delays and in some instances cancellations as we move through recovery,” the statement reads.

Greater Toronto Airports Authority media manager Rachel Bertone told CTV News Toronto that Toronto Pearson passengers are encouraged to check their flight status before making their way to the airport.

“We have also put in place a flexible policy for those who wish to change their travel plans at no cost,” Air Canada said.

As of Thursday afternoon, numerous Air Canada flights initially scheduled to leave Toronto Pearson this morning have been delayed to the afternoon.

Plus, many of Air Canada’s flights headed to the Toronto airport from places like Orlando, Fla., Vancouver, B.C., and New York’s LaGuardia Airport, have been delayed.

In terms of cancellations, however, just over two per cent of departures and roughly 3.5 per cent of arrivals have been cancelled – though it should be noted these percentages include all airlines. 

“We apologize to those affected, and appreciate their patience,” the statement reads.

This is the second time in a week that Air Canada has suffered a technical issue with its computer system, which delayed nearly half of all its flights.

The airline confirmed in its statement, “The issue today was in the same systems as that of May 25, but it was unrelated.”

Air Canada has not said how long the technical issue is expected to last, but said they are “working hard” to get fliers on their way as quickly as they can.

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Air Canada flight communicator system breaks down, causing widespread delays –



Air Canada is experiencing an issue with one of its internal systems, leading to flight delays across its network.

The airline said Thursday it is “experiencing a temporary technical issue with its communicator system, one of the systems that we use to communicate with aircraft and monitor operational performance.”

The issue is causing delays across the system, with 234 flights delayed so far on Thursday and 34 cancellations, according to That’s about 44 per cent of the airline’s daily load.


Air Canada’s flanker brand Rouge is also impacted, with 78 delays, or 52 per cent of its flights, as well as 11 cancellations.

It’s the second time in less than a week that the airline has been hit by a problem with its communicator system that caused delays or cancellations. On May 25, U.S. aviation regulator the FAA ordered a ground stop of all Air Canada flights due to unspecified internal computer issues. The outage lasted a little over an hour.

Air Canada says the impacted system is the same as the one from last week, but says the two outages are “unrelated.”

“We have been in the process of upgrading this system using a third-party supplier’s technology. Air Canada will continue to work with the manufacturer to ensure stability in the system in the future.”

Duncan Dee, a former executive at the airline, described the affected system as an “electronic tracking system to allow them to identify the location of their aircraft at any given time within their network.”

People on the ground watch an Air Canada jet fly over LAX airport.
An Air Canada jet is shown flying over the skies near Los Angeles International Airport. Almost half of the airline’s regularly scheduled flight load has been delayed or cancelled on Thursday because of a technology outage. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg)

“It’s the system which allows them to track their aircraft and to communicate with flights in a more automated way,” he told CBC News.

He was scheduled to fly on an Air Canada flight himself on Thursday and said it was disheartening to see the system fail twice “in such a short period of time. This isn’t something that happens very regularly … because obviously systems aren’t supposed to go down and certainly not to go down so soon, one after the other.”

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Early in the afternoon, the airline said the system has begun to “stabilize” but is not yet back to normal and delays continue.

The airline is advising anyone who is supposed to fly today to check the status of their flight before heading to the airport. 

“We are working hard to rectify this situation,” the airline told CBC News in an emailed statement. “We apologize to those affected, and appreciate their patience.”

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said he has been in constant contact with the airline and has been assured that the company is doing everything it can.

“I encourage them to get it up as quickly as possible,” Alghabra said. “They understand the consequences of these delays … they are working on restoring it as quickly as possible.”

Last month, the government tabled new rules designed to make it harder for airlines to wriggle out of compensating passengers for costly delays and cancellations. Those rules have yet to be tabled, but Alghabra said what’s happening on Thursday would be covered by existing rules since it’s being caused by something the airline can control. 

“Based on current rules, passengers are protected,” he said. “Air Canada has obligations to passengers.”

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