Hello everyone. Thank you for being here on such short notice. This morning, Canadians across the country were shocked and saddened to learn that a fatal plane crash outside of Tehran had claimed 176 innocent lives.
Fifty-seven* Canadians were on board and a total of 138 passengers on that flight were connecting to Canada. All people who won’t be coming home to their parents, their friends, their colleagues or their families. A newlywed couple. A family of four. A mom and her two daughters. Bright students and dedicated faculty members. All had so much potential, so much life ahead of them.
On behalf of all Canadians, I want to express my deepest condolences to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. Your loss is indescribable and this is a heartbreaking tragedy. While no words will erase your pain, I want you to know that an entire country is with you. We share your grief.
(In French) In the most tragic of times, Canadians are used to being there for each other. For the communities who are mourning today the loss of a loved one, we will be there for you. (translation ends)
In the coming weeks, our government will continue to work closely with its partners to ensure that this crash is thoroughly investigated. Canadians have questions, and they deserve answers.
Minister Champagne will be speaking with the Iranian foreign minister and conveying the need for a thorough investigation into this fatal crash. (In French) Minister Champagne has consulted appropriate officials and authorities as well as our partners. For his part, Minister Garneau is working closely with officials at Transport Canada, and has communicated with his international counterparts. (translations ends)
Earlier today, I spoke with President Macron, Prime Minister Johnson, President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Morrison to discuss the matter. They all expressed their deepest sympathies to the families and to all Canadians, and offered their help and support.
These calls built on the conversations I’ve had over the past few days with Chancellor Merkel, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg, EU Council President Charles Michel and His Majesty the King of Jordan.
About an hour ago, a Ukrainian Airlines plane just landed in Toronto from Kyiv. According to the airline, there were 138 passengers who weren’t on that flight because they died in the crash on the earlier leg of their travel. There are a number of steps being taken to support the families at Pearson Airport.
Right now, our top priority remains the safety and security of all Canadians, whether they be at home or abroad. Friends and relatives of Canadians believed to be onboard should contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 emergency watch and response centre. Canadian citizens in Iran requiring consular assistance should contact the Canadian embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
To the families grieving, know that the Government of Canada and all Canadians are grieving with you. We will support you in the incredibly difficult weeks and months ahead.
This somber day comes in the wake of deeply concerning events in Iraq. Canada condemns the missile attacks launched by Iran last night. I am relieved, as are all Canadians, that all personnel deployed in Iraq are safe.
I’d like to take a moment to thank once again the women and men in uniform who have worked hard with our allies to stabilize Iraq and counter Daesh. Their mission is important and we can all be proud of their work.
(In French) I assure you that we’re taking all the precautions necessary to insure the safety of our civilian, military and diplomatic personnel. We are continuously communicating with our international partners and we will keep opposition parties updated on the changing situation. We continue to encourage a de-escalation of tensions and a dialogue in the region.
Once again, thank you for being here today. (translation ends)
EDITOR’S NOTE: On Jan. 10, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne revised the number of Canadians who died on Flight PS752 from 63 to 57.