British Columbia

Defence Minister offers condolences in visit to Snowbirds crash memorial in Kamloops, B.C.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan met with first responders and members of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in Kamloops on Tuesday, two days after one of its members was killed and another injured in a crash.

Snowbirds 'inspired all Canadians at a time when we needed it,' says Harjit Sajjan in Kamloops

Sajjan spoke to reporters in front of a growing memorial of Canada flags and flowers at the Kamloops airport.  (CBC)

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan met with first responders and members of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in Kamloops on Tuesday, after one of its members was killed and another injured in a crash two days earlier. 

Capt. Jennifer Casey, a public affairs officer with the Snowbirds, died Sunday when a CT-114 Tutor aircraft plummeted to the ground in a residential area shortly after takeoff.

The pilot of the jet, Capt. Richard MacDougall, is recovering from injuries sustained in the crash.

Sajjan spoke to reporters in front of a growing memorial of flowers and Canadian flags at the Kamloops Airport. 

"I wanted to personally pass on our condolences to Jennifer Casey's family ... and also wish a speedy recovery to Capt. MacDougall," Sajjan said, noting he'd recently spoken to Casey's family. 

Sajjan, left, spoke with members of the armed forces on the tarmac at the Kamloops Airport. (CBC)

Sajjan also thanked first responders and the people of Kamloops for their "tremendous" outpouring of support.

"[The Snowbirds] inspired all Canadians at a time when we needed it, all of Canada needed it. And having this display demonstrates to them how much we appreciate what they do for all of us."

Watch: Defence Minsiter Harjit Sajjan offers condolences

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan was in Kamloops to pay tribute to Capt. Jenn Casey — killed in Sunday's crash of an RCAF Snowbird — along with injured pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall and the entire Snowbirds team. 1:00

The crash happened as the Snowbirds were about to continue the Western Canada leg of a cross-country tour meant to lift people's spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The cause of the crash is not yet known. 

During his daily address on COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there will be a "proper investigation" into the incident.

He said his thoughts are with the families of Casey and MacDougall.

"This has been a very difficult few weeks for members of the Canadian Armed Forces," he said.

"As we mourn, we remember Capt. Casey as a proud Nova Scotian and an outstanding service woman, a journalist who turned her talents to the forces. She will be remembered not just for her professionalism, but for her sense of humour and for her kindness."

Watch: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remembers Capt. Jenn Casey 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his thoughts are with the family of Capt. Jenn Casey — killed in Sunday's crash of an RCAF Snowbird — along with injured pilot Capt. Richard MacDougall and the entire Snowbirds team. 2:03

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