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432-00083 (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 Foreign Affairs

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

The downing of flight PS752 is a horrific tragedy. Following the downing, and throughout its aftermath, Canada has worked tirelessly to support the families of the victims of this tragedy and to hold Iran to account for its actions.

Canada continues to call on Iran to provide a full accounting for its actions, and we will continue to work with the other affected States to ensure that Iran make full reparations. The International Coordination and Response Group (CG) for the victims of Flight PS752 was launched by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in London on January 16, 2020, to coordinate an international response to the downing. In London, the CG agreed upon a framework for cooperation 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 Iranian Foreign 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. On July 30, 2020, CG officials met for a first meeting with Iranian officials regarding the modalities for upcoming negotiations on reparations. The CG continues to meet regularly, including most recently on October 27, 2020, to discuss their expectations for the publication of Iran’s final safety report. During that meeting, the CG also re-committed to remaining united and to press Iran to provide answers to crucial questions including how the decision was made to leave Iranian airspace open during a time of heightened regional tensions and why no preventative measures were taken to ensure the safety of civil aviation. The CG expects Iran to provide these answers. In addition, on July 30, 2020, CG officials met for a first meeting with Iranian officials regarding negotiations on reparations.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is currently engaged with Ukrainian counterparts in order to support a criminal investigation and soon deploy to Ukraine to assist the Ukrainian investigation on the ground.

On March 31, 2020, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of the Honourable Ralph Goodale as Special Advisor for the Government of Canada’s ongoing response to the PS752 flight tragedy. As Special Advisor, Mr. Goodale is examining lessons learned from Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 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 and his report is expected to be tabled in December 2020.

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 financial assistance is distinct from any compensation owed to the passengers of PS752 or their families by Ukraine International Airlines or Iran.

Significant questions remain surrounding the circumstances and cause of the tragedy. The families and loved ones of the victims deserve to know how and why Flight PS752 was shot down near Tehran.

To that end, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced on October 2, 2020, the formation of a Canadian forensic examination and assessment team, as recommended by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Special Advisor for the Government of Canada’s ongoing response to the downing of Flight PS752.

The forensic team consists of public servants from several federal departments and agencies with relevant skill sets and expertise, and is led by Jeff Yaworski, formerly the Deputy Director of Operations at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. The team will collect, organize and analyze all available information, evidence and intelligence about the PS752 disaster, and will advise the government on its credibility and probative value. The team will report to the national security and intelligence advisor to the prime minister.

Response by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Joël Lightbound, M.P

We are saddened that 55 Canadians and 30 permanent residents– as well as citizens from other countries – tragically died on board Flight 752 and will not rest until the families get the justice they deserve.

A full-time task force was established to coordinate Canada’s ongoing response to this tragedy. This task force is responsible for collective outreach and communication with families; coordinating and reporting on the air safety and criminal investigations in collaboration with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and serving as the main point of contact for departments and leading diplomatic outreach.

Additionally, on July 2, 2020, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his counterparts from Afghanistan, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom signed a Memorandum of understanding on cooperation regarding negotiations on full reparations by Iran. These state-to-state negotiations with the Iranian regime are an important and necessary step toward meeting the group’s objective of achieving accountability and helping families seek closure as they continue to grieve.

The Government takes the threat from terrorism seriously and reiterates its commitment 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. 

Canada has 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.

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.

Presented to the House of Commons
Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard)
October 7, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00083)
Government response tabled
November 20, 2020
Photo - Tom Kmiec
Calgary Shepard
Conservative Caucus
Alberta

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

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