Premier Ford announces scholarships in honour of Iran plane crash victims

Jan 16 2020, 7:05 am

Premier Doug Ford has announced the creation of a scholarship fund to honour the victims of the tragic plane crash in Iran earlier this month.

Proposed scholarships of $10,000 will be dispersed to 57 students; one in memory of each Canadian victim of the crash.

“This was a terrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to the victims’ families and loved ones,” Premier Doug Ford said in a release on Thursday.

“Many of the victims were students and professors with bright futures, studying and teaching at Ontario universities and colleges, and contributing to the advancement of research in many lifechanging fields. We will honour their memories through these scholarships to recognize their incredible contributions to our communities.”

Postsecondary institutions in Ontario which lost students or faculty in the crash include: 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, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Windsor, and York University.

Criteria for the proposed scholarships will be open-ended, awarded based on academic merit and financial need, and determined in consultation with both Ontario’s colleges and universities, as well as with the families of the crash’s victims.

They will be allocated to the institutions to which each of the 34 student and faculty victims belonged, and the remaining funds will be allocated to other eligible institutions based on a competitive process.

Scholarship fund development is being led by The Ministry of Colleges and Universities and will engage various partners. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.

“I want to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this devastating event,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “These new scholarships will pay tribute to those who lost their lives and ensure they will not be forgotten.”

An Iranian missile accidentally shot down the aircraft in the January 6, killing all 176 passengers on board — 138 of whom were bound for Canada.

Since the incident, candle-light vigils have been held across the nation, a fundraiser has been launched for the families of victims, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for justice.