TORONTO -- Ontario is creating 57 new post-secondary scholarships to honour the victims of the Iran plane crash that left no survivors last week.

Premier Doug Ford says in a statement that a new government fund will disperse $10,000 scholarships in memory of each of the 57 Canadian victims of the Ukraine International Airlines crash.

Over a dozen Ontario post-secondary institutions lost students or faculty when the plane was mistakenly shot down near Tehran last Wednesday.


Ford -- who formally announced the scholarships at a news conference this morning -- says the scholarships will be established for the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.

The province says criteria for the scholarships will be based on academic merit and financial need, and recipients will be determined in consultation with the schools and families of the victims.

Universities and colleges across Canada have been holding memorial events over the past week to remember the students and faculty who died in the crash.

"Many of the victims were students and professors with bright futures, studying and teaching at Ontario universities and colleges, contributing to the advancement of research in many life-changing fields," Ford said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

"We will honour their memories through these scholarships to recognize their incredible contributions to our communities."

The province says the scholarships will be allocated to the post-secondary schools the victims attended or worked at. Some scholarships will also be allocated to eligible colleges or universities based on a competitive process.

Ontario's Ministry of Colleges and Universities will further develop the scholarships in the coming weeks by consulting with the federal government, cultural community groups and the schools.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2020.