Premier Announces Scholarships in Honour of Iran Plane Crash Victims

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Scholarship fund will keep alive the memories of 57 Canadians lost


January 16, 2020 9:30 A.M. Office of the Premier


TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford, joined by MPP Michael Parsa and MPP Goldie Ghamari, announced the creation of a scholarship fund to honour the victims of the recent fatal plane crash in Iran. The tragedy claimed the lives of 57 Canadians, including several from Ontario. The fund will disburse the proposed scholarships of $10,000 to 57 students, one in memory of each victim.


"This was a terrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to the victims' families and loved ones," Premier Doug Ford said. "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."


"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."


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, 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 Ontario's colleges and universities, as well as with the families of the victims. Scholarships will be 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 Ministry of Colleges and Universities is leading the development of the scholarship fund and will engage various partners, including the federal government, cultural community groups, and other institutions. The ministry will share more information in the coming weeks.


Quick Facts

  • On January 8, 2020, a Ukrainian airliner crashed near Tehran, Iran, killing 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, several of whom studied or taught at postsecondary institutions in Ontario.
  • 57 scholarships will be disbursed in honour of each of the Canadians who lost their lives in the Iran plane crash.
  • The ministry is working towards implementation of the proposed scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year in September.