House of Commons tribute to the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752
I rise today to pay tribute to 176 people who were taken from this world too soon.
To remember who they were.
To stand in solidarity with the people they loved.
Mr. Speaker, on January 8th, 167 passengers and nine crewmembers took their seats aboard Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 and waited for take‑off.
For 138 of them, Canada would be their final destination.
Among these passengers, there were newlyweds.
A mother and her teenage daughter.
A father on his way home to his young son.
Families of three. Families of four.
A Grade 12 student who wanted to become a doctor.
A talented dentist focused on starting a practice here in Canada.
An ambitious 10-year-old boy who was confident that one day, he would sit in the very seat from which I rise.
Confident that one day, his voice would be heard in this House.
Mr. Speaker, it is a tragedy that this young boy will never sit in a seat in this House.
But his story and the stories of all the victims of Flight 752 will be heard not only in this House, but across our great country.
Stories of hope, ambition and courage.
Unique and inspiring stories of resilience, determination and joy.
Because these 176 people are much more than victims.
Mr. Speaker, over the past weeks, I have sat down with many grieving families.
They told me about their loved ones. About who they were, about what they liked to do.
About their plans for the future.
They lived lives far too rich to be defined by this tragedy.
Before any of this happened, they were not just shaping their own lives, they were building our country.
Building a future we all share that is now diminished by their loss.
Mr. Speaker, we cannot change the terrible events that took them away from us, but we can choose how we remember them.
And today, we choose to remember their strength. Their kindness. Their passion for life.
In a way, we all knew these passengers.
The friend you could always count on. The child you watched grow up. The inspiring teacher. The superhero mom or dad.
These people, they shape our lives. They make us who we are.
And losing them like this, so unexpectedly, is devastating.
This is in part why so many Canadians across the country came together in support of the families and loved ones of the victims.
Because while we can only imagine the magnitude of their loss, we refuse to see them go through this tragedy alone.
In these dark times, Canadians came together to support the families and loved ones of those we lost too soon.
Across the country, people took part in memorials. They lit candles, laid flowers, and offered their condolences.
Some even set up community organizations like Canada Strong to help grieving families.
In the face of tragedy, in the face of injustice, neighbours, friends, acquaintances and strangers responded with compassion, kindness and generosity.
It is these very values, this spirit, that drove many of these passengers to choose not only Canada, but Canadians.
Mr. Speaker, I wish I were not delivering this speech today.
I wish all 176 people aboard 752 were still with us.
This tragedy should never have occurred, and these families deserve to know how and why it did.
That’s why our government has been working closely with our international partners to ensure that a thorough and credible investigation is conducted.
And we will not rest until we get accountability and justice for the victims’ families.
We’ve also been in close contact with the families to ensure they have all the support they need, from facilitating travel and fast-tracking visas, to providing legal and financial assistance.
We are also matching up to $1.5 million in donations to the Canada Strong fund for those affected by this tragedy.
Mr. Speaker, I want to end this tribute by addressing the families and loved ones of the victims on behalf of all Canadians.
Know that we stand with you.
We will not let you weather this storm alone.
And we will never forget the people you loved.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.