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Iran plane crash: Families of Canadian victims to receive $25,000, Trudeau says – Global News

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The Canadian government will give $25,000 to families of the Iranian plane crash victims to assist them with funeral arrangments and travel, among other “immediate needs.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that the money will go to the 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents who died when Iran shot down the Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet last week.


READ MORE:
Here’s what we know about the victims who lived in Canada

“This is a unique and unprecedented situation because of the international sanctions placed on Iran and the difficulties that imposes on these families,” he said. “These families have lost a loved one in extraordinary circumstances, and the grieving is even more difficult as a result.”

Trudeau reiterated that he still expects Iran to compensate the victims.

“I want to be clear. We expect Iran to compensate these families. I have met them. They can’t wait weeks. They need support now,” he said at a news conference in Ottawa.

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“We haven’t looked at what the full compensation would end up looking like from Iran, but I can assure you any money from Iran for the victims would go straight to them. It would not go to the Canadian government.”






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Iran plane crash: Trudeau says loss of life represents a ‘national tragedy’


Iran plane crash: Trudeau says loss of life represents a ‘national tragedy’

All 176 people on board the passenger jet died when the Iranian military shot it down with a surface-to-air missile mere minutes after takeoff in Tehran. Iran says it was an unintentional incident.

Canada is among the affected countries that have demanded compensation from Iran for the families of those killed in the crash.

Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine are also calling on Iran to respect the wishes of families on repatriating remains, full access for consular officials and investigators and an independent and credible investigation.


READ MORE:
Canadian friends of Iran plane crash victims wonder what to do with belongings

Trudeau also announced that the government will set up a national 1-800 line that will connect those Canadians affected with a lawyer to provide pro bono legal information and advice.

“Our government is firmly committed to holding Iran accountable for those who have lost a loved one, and that includes compensation,” he said. “This is immediate assistance for a range of needs they might have. We will be getting this money to them as quickly as we possibly can.”

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He added that he expects the first remains of Canadians killed in the crash to be repatriated “in the coming days.”

The funding announcement follows earlier commitments from the Canadian government to waive fees and speed up processing times for visas for those impacted by the crash.






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Iran plane crash: Trudeau says Canada ‘continues to push’ for full international investigation


Iran plane crash: Trudeau says Canada ‘continues to push’ for full international investigation

Earlier Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne sat down for a rare meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to discuss the tragedy.

Trudeau said he did not have many details about the meeting, as it had ended shortly before he began his address to the media but added that he knows Champagne repeated calls for de-escalation.

— With files from the Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Changes coming for international students beginning Canadian studies online – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
The federal government is rolling out a series of measures aimed at making it easier for international students who will be beginning their fall semesters taking online courses from Canadian schools, while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.

The government says it will be allowing students to count the time spent studying online while abroad towards their eligibility for a post-graduation Canadian work permit if at least 50 per cent of their post-secondary program is completed in Canada. 

As well, the government is allowing international students who are not able to submit all of the documentation needed to process their post-graduation work applications due to COVID-19-related closures but still want to begin their studies while in another country to do so. 

This is being facilitated through a new two-stage approval process. The new process will allow prospective students to go ahead with their plans upon receiving an “approval in principle.” 

In order to be approved in principle, students need to show they have been accepted to a Canadian college or university and have the ability to pay for it. 

It would then be the responsibility of international students to submit all outstanding documents and be approved before being allowed to enter Canada. 

The full approval requires submitting biometrics, an immigration medical exam, and a police background check.

International students who are staring a program this fall who submit a study permit application before Sept. 15, 2020 are eligible for these new measures. 

“These changes will give students more certainty about their ability to enter Canada once travel and health restrictions are eased in Canada and their own home countries. They mean that students will be eligible to work in Canada after graduation, even if they need to begin their studies online from overseas this fall,” said the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in a statement.

These new measures are in addition to other pandemic-prompted temporary policy changes already made by the federal government. 

Last year more than 650,000 international students were enrolled in Canadian college and university programs, with more than 58,000 becoming permanent Canadian residents.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on international students and the Canadian institutions and communities that host them,” said Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino in the statement.

“We value the contribution of young people seeking a high-quality education in Canada, and we’re making every effort to minimize how current challenges affect their plans and dreams for the future.” 

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Canada-U.S. border closure to be extended for another 30 days, say officials – CBC.ca

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CBC News has confirmed that the agreement to restrict travel across the Canada-U.S. border will be extended into August. 

Senior government officials confirm the arrangement limiting border access to essential travel only will be rolled over for another 30 days. 

The agreement, which has to be reviewed each month, was set to expire on July 21. It’s now being renewed for the fourth time since the border closed to non-essential traffic on March 21.

News of the extension was first reported by Reuters.

The extension comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke on the phone Monday about a range of issues that included the border closure.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses his phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump today about the border and the prospect of new American tariffs on Canadian aluminum. 1:49

Canadian government officials say they expect the border to stay largely closed for the foreseeable future, despite calls from U.S. members of Congress to consider a phased plan for reopening.

COVID-19 cases are hitting record daily highs in a large number of U.S. states — which would make make any resumption of pre-pandemic travel a significant health threat to Canada.

“We recognize that the situation continues to be complex in the United States in regards to COVID-19,” Trudeau said Monday at a press conference. “Every month, we have been able to extend the border closures to all but essential goods and services and those discussions are ongoing.”

Recent polling suggests that more than 80 per cent of Canadians favour keeping the border restrictions in place. 

Some leading public health officials have suggested the border should remain closed until at least the end of the year.  

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet told reporters today that the border should remain closed because the pandemic is still out of control in the U.S. 

“If we take examples of countries who managed well this crisis, in the list of those who did well, you won’t find the United States,” Blanchet said. 

“As long as the border appears to be a threat in the health of Quebecers and Canadians, it should remain closed.” 

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet says the Canada-U.S. border should remain closed

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Canada, U.S. agree to keep borders closed another 30 days: sources – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
Canadian and U.S. officials have agreed to keep the border between the two countries closed to non-essential travel until August 21, CTV News has confirmed.

Sources say both governments are on the same page with extending the border restriction measures for another month.

The ban on discretionary travel was first introduced in March and has been extended each month since. The latest extension was set to expire on July 21.

The agreement, as it stands, exempts the flow of trade and commerce, as well as temporary foreign workers and vital health-care workers such as nurses who live and work on opposite sides of the border. Tourists and cross-border visits remain prohibited.

During a press briefing following a call with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau teased that a decision on the border would be coming later in the week.

Trudeau said that talks were “ongoing,” and vowed to “continue to work hard to keep Canadians safe and to keep our economies flowing.”

This comes as some U.S. political figures in border states have been pressuring Canada to begin a phased reopening of the shared border, despite the surging number of new cases of COVID-19 in parts of the United States, with some regions reporting record-breaking new daily case counts.

On Monday, CNN reported that nearly one in every 100 Americans has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, with more than 3.3 million cases confirmed. 

More people have died in the United States from coronavirus than there are confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada. 

At the end of June the federal government announced it would be extending to July 31 a ban on foreign travellers that exempted the United States. 

The U.S. was exempt because of the ongoing a separate travel restriction agreement with Canada. It’s this agreement that sources say will be renewed for the fourth time since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.  

As of June 9, foreign nationals who are immediate family members of either Canadian citizens or permanent residents can enter Canada to be reunited, under a limited exemption to the current border restrictions. This has allowed both foreign and cross-border Canada-U.S. families to reunite under certain stipulations. 

There have been instances, however, when U.S. travellers have entered into Canada improperly. This has resulted in Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials being asked to take additional measures to screen who is looking to enter this country. 

When asked in May what the benchmarks will be for signs it’s an appropriate time to loosen travel restrictions, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that the first step would be carefully reopening travel restrictions within Canada.

She said drastically limiting who has been able to enter the country over the last few months — specifically international visitors — has been key to Canada controlling the outbreak.

Even when international travel can resume, Tam said the 14-day mandatory quarantine and follow-up enforcement of that order will remain “a cornerstone” of the disease control measures.

With files from CTV News’ Michel Boyer, Sarah Turnbull and Brooklyn Neustaeter

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