Canada will give $25,000 to family members of the Flight 752 plane crash victims to help with immediate needs like travel and funeral arrangements.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement in Ottawa on Friday.
The money will go to family members who are either Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
A total of 176 people died in the crash. Of those, 138 were on their way to Canada, including 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents.
Eight people from the North Shore, including seven from North Vancouver and one from West Vancouver, were among those who died when the Iranian military shot the plane down with two missiles.
Trudeau said Friday Canada still expects Iran to compensate the families, but added Canada is acting now because those people need immediate help. “They can’t wait weeks,” he said. “They need support now.”
Canada has set up special consular assistance for families, is waiving fees for visas and travel documents, and is working to get those processed as quickly as possible, said Trudeau.
“We can issue visas to families in a matter of hours instead of weeks,” he said.
Trudeau said the government came up with the $25,000 figure after speaking directly to the families.
Trudeau met with local families of the plane crash victims earlier this week in Vancouver.
Trudeau said the whole country was stunned by news the plane was mistakenly shot down by Iran and is pushing for a thorough international investigation into the crash.
Despite recent arrests of those allegedly responsible for launching the missile strikes, Trudeau said Canada still has questions about the system in place that gave those people the authority to order the strikes.
“We’re not satisfied with how things are now,” he said. “We have a great deal of questions still.”
On Tuesday, more than 400 people turned out for a candlelight vigil in North Vancouver honouring those who died.