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The Air India Victims Families Association (AIVFA)

The AIVFA is an unincorporated association consisting of representatives from families of victims of the Air India Flight 182 bombing. Yet, the AIVFA does not claim to represent all victims’ families. There are family members who have left the country, others who have chosen to attempt to leave the Air India tragedy behind them, and others who maintain an interest in the relevant issues but who do not want to be a part of the AIVFA.

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To date, the AIFVA has provided a support network for interested members of the families of Flight 182 victims. It has also liaised with the RCMP and the Attorney General of British Columbia in connection to the Air India investigation and prosecution.

The AIFVA has lobbied for fair monetary settlements for families of the victims; a day of remembrance; the establishment of memorials across major Canadian cities; and the calling of a public inquiry.

They also took on the initiative of identifying a legal team to represent the interests of victims’ families at the public inquiry.

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Initially, the AIFVA operated as a loose organization that would organize monthly phone calls for support, organize memorial meetings, advocate for the rights of victims, and engage in lobbying and letter writing with the goal of securing justice for the victims and families of Flight 182.

Lines of contact were opened with the RCMP in an effort to keep the families apprised of the status of the investigation, and early calls were made for a public inquiry.

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From 1985 until 2005, Dr. Bal Gupta acted as Coordinator of AIVFA. In the summer of 2005, after the 20th anniversary of the Air India tragedy, elections were held to formalize the AIVFA by electing a Chair and four regional spokespersons, as well as Chairs of three sub-committees:

1. The Memorial Subcommittee

The Memorial subcommittee has lobbied successfully for the establishment of permanent memorials in select, major Canadian cities.


2. The Anti-Terrorism Day Subcommittee

The Anti-Terrorism Day subcommittee inspired the Federal Government’s decision to proclaim June 23 as the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism.

3. The Inquiry Subcommittee

The inquiry subcommittee played a salient role in the decision of the Government of Canada to initiate the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Flight 182.

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The AIVFA continues to advocate to elected and government officials on policy, legislative and operational needs of victims of crime and victims of terrorism. It presents and educates on the Canadian impact of terrorism and on the needs of victims of terrorism in a number of police training courses, university programs and at national and international conferences.

The AIVFA provides support and advice to first responder organizations on emergency response plans involving the needs of victims of terrorism. It also works with and assists victims’ services organizations in developing programs and services for victims of terrorism, while collaborating with other international victims of terrorism and organizations.