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431-00092 (Foreign affairs)

Petition to the House of Commons in Parliament Assembled

We the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, draw the attention of the House to the following:

Whereas:

  • The Iranian regime has taken responsibility for shooting down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which claimed the lives of 176 people, including 57 Canadians;
  • The blame for this horrible atrocity lies with the Iranian regime alone;
  • The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, is responsible for countless death and destruction in the Middle East; and
  • The government of Canada has an obligation to ensure that Iran is held accountable and the families of the victims receive the justice that they deserve.

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

Immediately implement the Conservative motion passed by Parliament in 2018 to list Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, that fair compensation be paid to the families by the Iranian Government and that Canada Repatriate the remains.

Response by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): JOËL LIGHTBOUND, M.P.

We were, and remain, deeply shocked and saddened that 57 Canadians – as well as citizens from other countries – tragically died on board Flight 752. We will not rest until the families get the justice they deserve.

 

Canada continues to have in place a series of strong measures to hold both Iran and the IRGC accountable.

 

Canada continues to list the IRGC-Qods Force as a terrorist entity under the Criminal Code, which is Iran’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorist groups abroad.

 

The Government also continues to list a number of other terrorist entities that have benefited from the Qods Force’s patronage and who help advance Iran’s interests and foreign policy. These include Hizballah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Taliban. These designations impose significant consequences.

 

In June 2019, Canada added three new Iran-backed groups to the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities: al-Ashtar Brigades, Harakat al-Sabireen and the Fatemiyoun Division.

 

Iran provides these three groups with substantial resources, including training and weapons to carry out terrorist acts that advance its goals in the region.

 

Additionally, Canada lists Iran as a state supporter of terrorism under the State Immunity Act (SIA) and has implemented restrictive measures against entities and individuals within the IRGC which have a similar effect to a listing.

 

The Government continues to impose sanctions on Iran and the IRGC targeting all four of its branches as well as members of its senior leadership under the Special Economic Measures Act in response to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Individuals and entities listed under the Special Economic Measures Act are prohibited from any dealings with Canadians, which effectively freezes their assets in Canada.

 

Finally, through Canada’s engagement in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Canada acts to safeguard the financial system from abuse, including efforts to launder money and finance terrorism.

 

The FATF is the international standard setting body for combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. As a result of Iran’s lack of progress in addressing serious deficiencies in its money laundering/anti-terrorist financing framework, on February 21, 2020, the FATF called upon its members to impose counter measures to help mitigate the risk the Islamic Republic of Iran presents to the international financial system.

 

Where Iran has been laying the groundwork for a broader use of cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions and counter measures, Canada has regulated virtual asset service providers making them subject to supervision and monitoring by competent national authorities. These measures will come into effect in June, 2020.

 

The Government of Canada takes the threat from terrorism seriously and is committed to ensuring that Canada will take all appropriate actions to counter terrorist activities and other national security threats to this country, its people, our way of life, and our interests around the world. Keeping Canadians safe is of paramount importance to this Government. 

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The Government of Canada is committed to do everything possible to ensure that the families of the victims of Flight PS752 get justice and closure by way of thorough investigations and fair compensation.

The Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada held calls and discussions with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif during which they reiterated that Canada is seeking closure, accountability, transparency and justice for the victims of this tragedy, including thorough, credible and transparent investigations. They also stressed the importance of a fair and equitable compensation settlement for the families of the victims, based on international standards.

The International Coordination and Response Group (ICRG) for the victims of Flight PS752 was launched by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in London on January 16 to coordinate an international response to the downing. In London, the CG agreed upon a framework for cooperation with Iran in response to this tragedy to provide closure, accountability, transparency and justice for the families and loved ones of all the victims.The CG also met in Munich where they handed a letter to Minister Zarif in which they press Iran to continue to take necessary active steps toward the resolution of the many crucial questions of fact and of law raised by the downing of the flight. In the letter, the ICRG ministers urged a transparent and thorough safety investigation, in compliance with Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. They also called for timely and equitable compensation consistent with international precedents. Lastly, the ICRG ministers urged Iran to complete a thorough and transparent criminal investigation of the downing of PS752. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is currently engaged with Ukrainian counterparts to determine how best to support any criminal investigation going forward.

On March 11, 2020, at a meeting at International Civil Aviation Organization, the Minister of Transport delivered a speech in which he urged Iran to transfer the black boxes without delay. At that same meeting, Iran finally agreed to transfer the black boxes to Ukraine. However, the transfer has not yet been carried out. Canada and its international allies will continue to put pressure on Iran so that it fulfills its promise and transfers the black boxes as soon as possible.

The ICRG also met over the phone while the Minister of Foreign Affairs was in Kyiv on March 4. During the call, the ICRG discussed in detail the options available should Iran not abide by its obligations under Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation to have the flight recorders downloaded and analyzed in a country with the capacity to do so without delay. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is in contact with its international partners, including the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is seeking to get its status elevated to that of an Accredited Representative under Annex 13, in order to facilitate its active participation in the air safety investigation. Members of the ICRG discussed a way forward on compensation owed to the families by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA). It is the ICRC objective to hold Iran accountable for its role in the downing of PS752 including by obtaining compensation from Iran for the families of the victims that is consistent with international precedents.

On March 31, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of the Honourable Ralph Goodale as his Special Advisor for the Government of Canada’s ongoing response to the PS752 flight tragedy. As Special Advisor, Mr. Goodale will examine lessons learned from the Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 and other air disasters. He will develop a framework to guide Canada’s responses to international air disasters and provide recommendations on best practices, including advice on tools and mechanisms needed to prevent future events. He will support the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Transport in this work.

The Government of Canada has also offered families of the victims who are Canadian citizens and permanent residents $25,000 per victim to assist with their immediate needs. Consular officials have contacted affected families directly to explain the process and payments have been processed for a large number of them. This amount is distinct from the compensation that is expected from UIA and Iran and the Government of Canada will never ask for it to be reimbursed.

As of January 29, 2020, all 13 victims whose families wished to have repatriated to Canada, were repatriated and have been buried.

Presented to the House of Commons
Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard)
February 19, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00092)
Government response tabled
April 11, 2020
Photo - Tom Kmiec
Calgary Shepard
Conservative Caucus
Alberta

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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