Ottawa pledges to match funds raised for families of Iran plane crash victims

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Food and candles surround photos of Ottawa area victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, at Ottawa City Hall, on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

TORONTO  The federal government says it will contribute to a national campaign to help cover funeral costs for families affected by the deadly plane crash in Iran earlier this month.

The prime minister’s parliamentary secretary, Omar Alghabra, says Ottawa will match funds raised during the Canada Strong campaign launched days after the Jan. 8 crash.

The campaign, organized by Paramount Fine Foods founder Mohamad Fakih, aims to raise $1.5 million for those who lost loved ones when a Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down by the Iranian military.

Alghabra says the federal government will match all contributions up to the campaign goal.

He says the campaign has raised just shy of $600,000 so far.

All 176 people on board flight PS752 died during the crash just outside of Tehran, including 138 people who were bound for Canada.

The Canadian Press has independently verified the identities of 93 people with ties to Canada.

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