The House of Commons unanimously passed a motion Monday urging Iran to pay compensation to families of the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 and to conduct an independent and transparent international investigation.
The motion also demanded that Iran hold those responsible for the tragedy accountable and to conduct an independent criminal investigation followed by transparent and impartial judicial proceedings
Before the vote, MPs held a minute of silence for the victims of Flight 752 – struck by Iranian missiles Jan. 8, shortly after it left Tehran en route to Kyiv, killing all 176 people aboard including 57 Canadians.
Party leaders later expressed their condolences to the families of the victims.
“This tragedy should never have occurred and the families deserve to know how and why it did,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House. “We will not rest until we get accountability and justice for the victims’ families.”
Mr. Trudeau said he told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani directly that Canadians expect and demand full co-operation from Iranian authorities.
"That means respecting the wishes of the family with regard to burials and I can confirm that the families who wanted burial in Canada are receiving it so far,” Mr. Trudeau said.
Although the Prime Minister has suggested that U.S. President Donald Trump bears some responsibility for Iran’s mistaken downing of a commercial plane, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer told the House that Iran is solely to blame.
Mr. Scheer called on the Prime Minister to list Iran’s feared Islamic Revolutionary Guard on Canada’s list of banned terrorist organizations and to impose sanctions if Iran won’t “fully and immediately co-operate with international investigations.”
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said military tensions between Washington and Tehran were at the root of the downing of the Flight 752, while NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the loss of so many lives is the result of “the horrible cost of escalation and tension and it is incredibly important for us … to work for peace and stability in the region.”
With the House of Commons back in session, the Liberal minority government gave notice on Monday that it is beginning the process of ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The trade agreement has already been ratified by Mexico and the United States.
“Yes, we’re going to have debate and study in the House of Commons, but we’re also going to focus on ratifying it quickly," Mr. Trudeau said. “We recognize that this is an important issue for the Canadian economy. … We heard the premiers loudly and clearly saying they want a ratification quickly.”
The treaty has the support of the the business community and all the Canadian premiers, and is expected to win votes from the Conservatives in Parliament. But the Bloc Québécois and the NDP have voiced concerns about the pact and this could delay passage.
The Bloc Québécois says the deal does not provide the same protections for Quebec’s aluminum industry as it does for the steel industry and Ontario’s auto-manufacturing sector and wants the text fully studied and debated.
The New Democrats say they need time to study the legislation, complaining that the deal was negotiated behind closed doors.
“When the new NAFTA goes into force, virtually all of our exports to the United States – 99.9 per cent – will be tariff-free. This is a victory for all Canadians of every political persuasion and from all regions of our great country,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said.