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Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 Tragedy

Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 Tragedy

Hon. Linda Frum: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Senator Gold, an Ontario court ruled last week that the shooting down of Flight PS752 in January 2020 by Iran was an act of terrorism. That ruling came under the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. The lawyer representing the families in the case said that the Canadian government had been opaque and unhelpful with the civil case, and that it had taken five court appearances and eight months before Global Affairs Canada served the court papers on the Iranian regime. Fifty-five Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents were among the 176 people murdered in this terrorist act.

Senator Gold, can you explain why the Trudeau government showed such reticence in assisting the court and the Canadian victims of terrorism in this case, and can you find out what support the Government of Canada will give these families now as they continue to seek justice for their loved ones?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question and for continuing to raise this important issue with regard to the tragedy that befell the victims of that act. The Government of Canada is carefully studying Justice Belobaba’s opinion in the case to which you referred. I will make inquiries, Senator Frum, with regard to the specific questions you asked about the support available to the victims and their families, and report back to the chamber.

Senator Frum: In reaching its judgment, the court cited former Public Safety minister Ralph Goodale, who argued it was inconceivable Iran could mistake a passenger plane departing Tehran for an incoming military aircraft or missile. Ambassador Goodale was among those who voted nearly three years ago in the other place to immediately list the IRGC as a terrorist entity. Senator Gold, will your government now list the IRGC, given the court’s decision and Mr. Goodale’s conclusion, and will it make those responsible subject to Magnitsky sanctions?

Senator Gold: Thank you for the question. This issue is one actively considered by the government. To the best of my knowledge, Senator Frum, no decisions have yet been made or communicated.

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