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No shock here on the Conservative foot-dragging on Omar Khadr

A column in the Star today about how the Canadian government has been doing nothing to live up to its agreement it made with the US and Omar Khadr’s lawyers to bring Khadr home and out of the Guantanamo gulag:

Various United States officials have complained that Canada’s insolence is harming not only Omar, but U.S. interests. The United States’ credibility is damaged when it enters plea agreements that it cannot fulfill because the detainee’s own country will not hold up its end of the deal. Last week, the U.S. transferred Ibrahim al Qosi from Guantanamo to Sudan, where he arrived a free man. The U.S. can trust Sudan to protect its nationals more than Canada, it seems.

Meanwhile, Omar’s lawyers’ repeated inquiries to the minister have gone unacknowledged, though not unanswered. When asked to do as he promised, Toews’ silent retort amounts to this: Make me.

I think this has been the plan from the start; when Canada no longer could ignore the US on repatriating Khadr home, they couched language in the agreement to make “receive favourably” an Omar Khadr request to be repatriated (subject to US approval, which it has given) to mean “indefinite stalling”.

Vic Toews is the Minister in charger of this file. He has already had a few Canadian courts in other cases involving judicial review of his refusal to transfer other Canadians imprisoned abroad (without giving any reason for it) rule against him, so this reticince on his part (no doubt backed by Harper and company) is hardly a shock. It appears that it will take yet another court ruling ordering Toews and the Conservatives to live up to their agreements and honour Khadr’s charter rights – rights the Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled they violated – and I’ve no doubt the Conservatives will then use that to justify to their right wing redneck base there was nothing they could do – the liberal wimpy courts made them do it (though the irony will probably be lost that it was they who signed the agreement with the US and Omar Khadr’s lawyers in the first place).

I will predict, by the way, if Vic Toews, gets his coveted judge post in Manitoba from Harper, he will be known as the judge whose court rulings are the most likely to be overturned on appeal. He looks at things from his ideology, not the rules of law.


5 comments to No shock here on the Conservative foot-dragging on Omar Khadr

  • kwittet

    No I wouldnt say Scott..he is a terrorist.

  • kwittet

    The family has close ties to osama bin laden and terrorists…dont let him in.

    • Even if the Conservatives stayed in power for the remainder of Khadr’s sentence (7 more years) and reused to honour their agreement with the US, at the end of the sentence, Khadr can return to Canada a free man with no strings attached, because he is a Canadian citizen. Better to get him back now under supervision and get him any counseling he needs for the trauma and brain washing he suffered as a child soldier now then for the other scenario, wouldn’t you say?

  • Diane

    There is another theory that the Harper Government is stalling in hopes that Romney will be elected and overturn the plead bargain, but that’s ridiculous, and it wouldn’t change the legal situation in Canada.

    Another thought is that Harper wants to stall so long that he’ll have time to stack the courts with his friends, but that could take a while.

  • Diane

    I still don’t understand this. Some say the Harper Government signed the agreement because they wanted to do the US a favour, or because they expected something from the US in return. Ezra Levant suggested the agreement was signed by a rogue diplomat. I thought they signed it because they were still trying to respond to the Supreme Court decision that they needed to find a remedy to the violation of Khadr’s rights.

    I don’t think Ezra’s theory could be correct because I don’t think any government would lose control that way on an issue like this, least of all the Harper Government. It’s hard to imagine the Canadian government making an agreement on something like this subject to some favour it wants from the US. That would be disreputable, from any point of view, legal, moral, human rights or security. None of the other theories make sense unless they were prepared to live up to the agreement.

    It’s true that they left themselves an out with the “favourably consider” language, but normally that would just be done in case something new happened that changed the situation. No such thing happened as far as anybody can tell, and obviously didn’t from the point of the US government which would be the only ones in a position to know.

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