Canada victim memorials, Trudeau will attend Iran crash victim memorial.
The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be attending the memorial to the victims of the Ukranian airliner which was shot down in Iran resulting in the death of 57 Canadians mainly of Iranian descent.
The PM’s office confirmed that Trudeau will be addressing the memorial service which is to be held in a basketball arena which has a seating capacity of 1,700 in the city of Edmonton. The Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne will also attend the memorial.
Iran acknowledged on Saturday that its military shot down the plane on Wednesday, killing all 176 aboard, in what the country’s president called a “disastrous mistake,” with air defences firing in error while on alert after Iranian missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq.
“Canada and the world still have many questions, questions that must be answered,” Trudeau said in a news conference in Ottawa on Saturday.
“It is absolutely necessary that Canada participate in this investigation. We expect the full cooperation of Iranian authorities,” Trudeau added.
The memorial in Edmonton follows several days of grief in Canada, including candlelight vigils in many cities. Memorials are also planned on Sunday in Toronto.
“The community is unbelievable. The people feel whole Canada is hugging them,” said Reza Akbari, president of the Iranian Heritage Society of Edmonton.
Mourners placed flowers and scattered rose petals this week outside the office of University of Alberta engineering professor Pedram Mousavi, who died in the crash with his wife, engineering professor Mojgan Daneshmand, and their two daughters.
“They were both so kind and caring,” wrote Dennis Ramsawak, who took classes with both professors, in an online memorial. “I’m so heartbroken. It’s a great loss for the community.”
Edmonton’s Iranian community is collecting funds to pay funeral and other expenses for the victims’ families. Some Edmonton relatives have already travelled to Iran to bury relatives, Akbari said, adding that transporting remains to Canada for burial would be complex and costly.