Members of Parliament observed a moment of silence before question period on Monday, honouring the victims of the Iran plane crash earlier this month.
All 176 people aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 died when Iranian missiles shot the plane down in the early hours of Jan. 8, following an Iranian missile attack on U.S. and coalition military bases in neighbouring Iraq.
Iran claims it mistook the passenger plane for a hostile target.
“Mr. Speaker, I wish I were not delivering this speech today. I wish all 176 people aboard 752 were still with us. This tragedy should never have occurred but these families deserve to know how and why it did,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a speech given after the moment of silence.
“Know that we stand with you. We will not let you weather this storm alone and we will never forget the people you loved.”
Of the 176 people killed aboard Flight 752, 57 were Canadian citizens and another 29 were permanent residents.
Iran, however, does not recognize dual citizenship and has said it will treat any dual Iranian citizens as Iranian only.
However, several Canadians have been repatriated so far, and Trudeau has said he expects Iran will honour the wishes of the families of the victims as to whether they want their loved ones buried in Iran or in Canada.
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Trudeau reiterated a pledge that the government “will not rest” until it gets answers and that officials will continue their push both for accountability, a credible investigation and compensation by Iran to the families of the victims.
Iran, however, has refused to hand over the two flight recorders recovered from the crash site.
Iranian officials have given inconsistent remarks, with some suggesting they were willing to send the black boxes for decoding and analysis to a country like France, while others say they want to decode the recorders themselves, despite admitting they do not have the technical expertise to do so on their own.
Two Canadian investigators taking part in the probe returned home last week, though the Transportation Safety Board has said it will send a team to help with any decoding of the black boxes, whenever that may take place.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who resigned last month and will formally step down in June, also offered his thoughts to the families of the victims.
He called for the government to explain why they are not listing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization and to impose sanctions on Iran if it doesn’t cooperate with the international investigation, saying there have been “worrying signals” already that it is not doing so.
“Mr. Speaker, 176 people and 57 Canadians lost their lives,” he said.
“I look forward to working with our colleagues across the aisle as we continue to fight for the justice and closure these 57 Canadian families deserve.”