Right in the centre - Insanity!


Ken Waddell
The Neepawa Banner

Paul Wells, of McLean’s magazine, wrote recently, “At the Conservatives’ annual Stampede Barbecue in Calgary, Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer said he’ll use the first opportunity the Conservatives get in the autumn to make MPs vote on the government’s settlement with Omar Khadr. ‘We’re going to force every Liberal in the House to take a stand,’ Scheer said. ‘It will be simple: Do you support paying a self-confessed terrorist over $10 million or do you stand with the common sense of millions of Canadians? Justin Trudeau will have to stand and defend it.’”

Scheer has succinctly summed up a sad segment of Canadian history and at the same time, defined how badly the Trudeau government has handled what they had hoped would be the end of a long story.

Omar Khadr’s story is indeed a long and complicated saga. He is a Canadian citizen and he has suffered a lot. He was wounded in a war zone, he was captured and jailed by the United States. He was later returned to Canada. He has been deemed to have served his time and for all intents and purposes, is ready to seek an education and make a new life back in Canada. Compared to those who died in battle, he is very fortunate. Compared to those others wounded in battle, he is extremely fortunate. We must recognize that all of Khadr’s problems had multiple causes, none of which were the doing of Canada, the Canadian people or our military people, be they still in service now or our veterans. None of it. Khadr’s problems, and there have been many, were caused by his father, his father’s allies, by the radical Islamic militant forces and to some small extent (maybe) by the United States. The United States military did save his life and his eyesight after battle injuries. Canada and Canadians’ only responsibility to Khadr is to now allow him his rights as a citizen to seek a new beginning in Canada.

Under Canadian law, which by the way is written more by the courts than it is by parliament, he is entitled to live as a Canadian citizen and seek his goals in Canada. That is the law according to the Supreme Court.

What Khadr is not entitled to is $10.5 million in compensation. The Trudeau Liberal government stand alone in this battle, they paid an enemy combatant $10.5 million with absolutely no basis to do so. It is insane.

It is even more insane when the Canadian government is refusing help in many cases for veterans of all our wars. There are old, very old WWII vets who could use more help. There are Korean War and Afghan war vets who desperately need help. This $10.5 million will go down in history as one of the worst travesties of justice ever forced on the Canadian public. Understandably, many are saying they are ashamed to be called Canadian over this issue. If Justin Trudeau had any decency, any level of honour, any level of respect for Canadians or a sense of justice, he would resign.

So what would Andrew Scheer have done differently? I believe he would have opposed the settlement and yes, it might have cost more than the settlement to do so. The government might have lost at the Supreme Court level. That said, the constitution does allow for invoking the notwithstanding clause and that would certainly be an option.

That Khadr is entitled to be released from prison and go on with his life is a well-established principle. That he gets compensation is a crime in itself, committed by our government. It is a disgusting stand to take and we need to remember that at the next election. This, along with the outright lies about the government deficits is evidence enough  to defeat the current government.