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Ontario creating scholarships in memory of Iran plane crash victims

The Ontario government has announced plans to create scholarships in memory of the 57 Canadians killed in a plane crash earlier this month in Tehran, Iran.

The crash, which was caused by the plane being struck by Iranian missiles, included 34 victims from numerous Ontario universities and colleges including Dr. Razgar Rahimi, an alumni and session instructor at Oshawa’s Ontario Tech University.

A fund created by the province will disburse a scholarship of $10,000 in memory of each of the 57 lives lost.

“This was a terrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to the victims’ families and loved ones,” Premier Doug Ford said in a media release. “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 life-changing fields. We will honour their memories through these scholarships to recognize their incredible contributions to our communities.”

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 province is hoping to have the scholarships in place for the 2020-21 academic year.