Statement on the deaths of two OPSEU members

We are deeply saddened and shocked to learn that two members of OPSEU were among the 63 Canadians who were on board the Ukrainian International Airlines flight that crashed in Iran this week.

Dr. Razgar Rahimi was a member of Local 558 and a partial-load professor in the School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science at Centennial College. He had received a doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2018 from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, where he was also a sessional lecturer.

Dr. Rahimi had a reputation for excellence in the fields of applied electricity, signals and communications, and programming languages, while his warm and engaging manner endeared him to colleagues and students. Dr. Rahimi’s passion for his fields of expertise was exceeded only by his love for his family. He will be terribly missed by his wider family, his many friends, and of course all who knew him at Centennial College.

Dr. Rahimi’s wife and young son were on the plane with him when it crashed.

Behnaz Ebrahimi-Khoei and her young son also perished in the crash. Behnaz was a member and steward with Local 552.  She was a property valuation analyst in Toronto and was well liked and valued by her co-workers and friends. She will be dearly missed.

Behnaz studied at the University of Tehran and received a degree in computer engineering. She started with the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) seven years ago as a contract property inspector. She graduated from the Seneca accelerated Real Property Administration (RPA) program and worked her way up to become a property valuation analyst. She was but one exam away from completing her Canadian Residential Appraiser (CRA) designation.

Her co-workers knew her as a kind-hearted person and a dedicated mother.

On behalf of our OPSEU family, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of Razgar and Behnaz. We also wish to send our condolences to the families who have suffered a loss as a result of this tragedy.

As a mark of our respect and sorrow, OPSEU will lower its flags to half-mast at head office today and tomorrow.

President Warren (Smokey) Thomas

First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida