TORONTO — In memory of the 57 Canadians involved in the 2020 fatal plane crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 in Iran, Ontario is renewing the scholarship fund created in their honour. Many of the victims were part of Ontario’s postsecondary community, and as such, the fund will disburse additional scholarship funding of $10,000 to 57 students, one in memory of each victim.
“Nearly two years have passed since this terrible tragedy, but I can still remember how incredibly shocked and saddened I was when I first received the news about Flight 752 – and I’m sure the families and loved ones of the victims still feel that devastating moment deeply,” said Premier Ford. “I would like to extend my sincere condolences to those impacted by this tragedy and hope they find some small comfort in this continued scholarship funding that will honour the memories of those 57 Canadians we lost.”
“I want to express my deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues who lost someone during that terrible event,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Many of the victims were students and professors at postsecondary institutions here in Ontario, and as such, our community was particularly shaken. We can never replace the loss of so many bright and promising scholars, educators – and above all – loved ones, but we hope to honour their memories through the continuation of this scholarship fund.”
The Ontario postsecondary institutions who lost students or faculty in the fatal plane crash included: Carleton University, Centennial College, Fleming College, George Brown College, Lambton College, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Ontario Tech University (formerly UOIT), the University of Guelph, the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, Western University, the University of Windsor, and York University.
“I distinctly remember how this devastating event resonated across Canada, particularly within our strong Iranian community,” said Goldie Ghamari, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Colleges and Universities. “It is with great sympathy that we continue to grieve the loss of so many talented students, faculty and other victims – and I hope this scholarship fund pays tribute in a small way.”
“Although we can’t bring back the 57 Canadians that were lost on January 8, 2020, we continue to mourn their loss and remember all they have done for our communities,” said Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill. “I hope Ontarians across the province take a moment to reflect on the impact this tragic event continues to have on our country and to keep their families and loved ones in our thoughts.”
Criteria for the original scholarships was based on academic merit and financial need, and was determined in consultation with Ontario’s colleges and universities, as well as with the families of the victims. The original scholarships were allocated in honour of each of the 34 victims to the institutions to which they belonged, with the remainder allocated to other eligible institutions based on a competitive process. The renewed scholarship funding will be allocated by these same institutions to recipients in 2022.