Toronto: Canada is considering bringing
closure to the 25-year-old bombing case of Air India's
Kanishka flight, with proposed ex-gratia payments to family
members of the victims of the worst terrorist attack in the
country in which 329 people were killed.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Immigration
Minister Jason Kenney spoke with relatives of the 329 people
who were killed in 1985 Kanishka bombing, last week and
assured them ex-gratia payment of up to USD 25,000 would be
disburse to them before the end of the year.
In June of this year, Justice John Major released a
voluminous report into the bombing, detailing how the federal
government and Canada's national security agencies bungled the
case both before and after the attack.
The report called for, among other things, symbolic
compensation. A handful of family members have publicly
complained about the dollar figures raised in discussions with
them by Minister Toews and Minster Kenney, despite requests
from the government that they refrain from speaking to the
The government did not make a formal offer, but pointed
out that previous ex-gratia payments - which are made without
admission of legal liability and have been given to
Japanese-Canadians who were placed in internment camps during
the Second World War, as well as those forced to pay the
Chinese head tax - have ranged from USD 20,000 to 25,000.
Most family members were not available to speak for
the record about their reaction to the figure; but some said
their primary concern is seeing the national security
recommendations of Justice Major brought into force, and that
money is not an issue. Others, however, expressed outrage.
A Commission had heard from more than 200 witnesses
during the investigation into the June 23, 1985 bombing of Air
India Flight 182. There were no survivors among the 329 people
First Published: Saturday, October 30, 2010, 16:56