The fall-out of the recent Iran plane crash continues. And Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear what he feels is to blame for the death of 57 Canadians after the flight was shot down in Iranian airspace. Trudeau said on Jan. 13 in an emotive speech that those people would be safe at home with their families now were it not for the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran.
Trudeau held an interview on January 13 to discuss the Canadian response to the Ukrainian International Airlines plane crash on Jan. 8. The investigation is still underway.
Trudeau spoke to Global News about everything surrounding the tragic incident, from identifying the victims to holding Iran to account in the investigation.
He did not mention the U.S. or President Donald Trump by name in direct relation to his comments. However, he also did not sugar-coat his words about those who died when the plane was shot down.
“If there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” said Trudeau.
“This is something that happens when you have conflict and war," he continued. "Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing.”
Since the incident, Trudeau has also dealt with questions as to whether or not he believes Trump holds some responsibility for the tragedy.
The Iranian missile strikes were allegedly in response to the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by order of Trump.
“I have spoken to him and I have talked about the need to de-escalate tensions,” said Trudeau.
“I’ve talked about the tremendous grief and loss that Canadians are feeling and the need for clear answers on how this happened and how we’re going to make sure it never happens again.”
Incidentally, on the same day Trudeau was giving this interview, Trump tweeted that "it doesn't really matter" whether Soleimani posed an imminent threat to the U.S.
The P.M. made clear, though, that the focus for him and the Canadian government is on the victims, not the nation's neighbour to the south.
“The grief they’re going through is not to be consoled right now. They want answers, they’ve expressed anger and outrage and also immeasurable pain,” said Trudeau.
Notably among the victims were several Ontario university students coming back from winter break.
Just a few days ago, a Toronto vigil was held for the victims of the Ukrainian flight and protests broke out, as those fighting were escorted out by security.
Trudeau is set to travel to the U.K. on January 16. There, members of the International Coordination and Response Group are set to discuss the next steps for getting credible answers and access to black box information.
The goal of the meeting will be to look at ways to demand justice for the victims of the crash.