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 media.
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 on board.