The Supreme Court of Canada never ordered a multimillion dollar payout to Omar Khadr, and in fact never dictated any monetary compensation at all.

Dear Richard,

Justin Trudeau seems to have found a new defence for his choice to make a convicted terrorist a wealthy man.

After first blaming the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, then the Supreme Court, then the previous government, Trudeau is now saying the Government of Canada could pay now, or it could pay later. Omar Khadr, according to the Liberals, was going to get his millions either way.

The Liberals are deliberately saying things that are not true to hide the fact that this payout was 100% their choice. But the majority of Canadians simply aren’t buying it.

The Supreme Court of Canada never ordered a multimillion dollar payout to Omar Khadr, and in fact never dictated any monetary compensation at all.

The Supreme Court ruled that in very narrow circumstances, Omar Khadr’s rights were violated. Conservatives accept that finding. We accept the extremely important principle that the Charter applies to all Canadians, no matter how heinous the crime.

The inconvenient truth for the Liberals, is that the court left it to the government of the day to determine the appropriate compensation for these violations. A lower-court ruling had indicated that the appropriate remedy for Omar Khadr would be repatriation. In other words, the wrong could be righted by allowing Khadr to serve out the rest of his sentence in Canada.

The previous Conservative government accepted the court finding. Omar Khadr was brought back to Canada and able to enjoy the benefits of the Canadian justice system — the same justice system that has been generous enough to give him his freedom today, while his victims remain dead, wounded, or grieving. That is all the compensation he deserves. Anything above that is a secondary compensation that goes over and above what any court has ordered.

Yet Justin Trudeau felt it appropriate to turn Khadr into a millionaire, even rushing payment to him as quickly and quietly as possible.

By handing payment to Omar Khadr in secret, Justin Trudeau would surely have understood that Tabitha Speer and her children — the family of Omar Khadr’s victim, Sgt. Christopher Speer — could be denied any access to the compensation.

Justin Trudeau could have taken a stand and fought the Khadr case until the very end. Last week, in his latest desperate attempt at deflecting blame, Trudeau has asked us to believe that he was so worried about spending taxpayers’ money, that he surrendered the legal fight.

For the man who is plunging Canada into massive deficits and borrowing more and more money from future generations of Canadians, this last excuse is almost laughable. Besides, principles are worth fighting for.

Conservatives believe in supporting the women and men in uniform who put their lives on the line to keep us safe, not those who target them.

So I understand the vast majority of Canadians who are upset by the prime minister’s decision. I am too. A government I lead would be guided by a set of principles that would have ensured we fought this case to the end.

For Justin Trudeau to suggest this was OK — indeed, to go even further by attempting to dodge any responsibility once he got caught — is not what we need in a prime minister.

Justin Trudeau had a choice. He could have fought this in court. No court decision is ever a given, no matter how many Liberals pretend otherwise.

And when the House of Commons returns in the fall, our Conservative caucus’s first task will be to hold Justin Trudeau accountable for his choice.

He cannot hide from it. That isn’t to say he hasn’t tried.

Trudeau was absent for the Liberal government’s apology to Omar Khadr. He was absent for the announcement of the payout. He has let others in his government do the dirty work, and made himself invisible in the meantime.

Most shockingly, after being forced to explain his decision, Trudeau claimed he speaks for all Canadians when it comes to his secret Khadr payout.

It is typical Liberal arrogance for Trudeau to claim he represents what Canadians think and feel about this issue. He represents the government of Canada, not the core beliefs of its people.

So my question to you is simple.

Do you agree with Trudeau’s secret payout to Omar Khadr? Does Trudeau speak for you?

Andrew Scheer
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

P.S.: You can have your say on my Facebook page.

 

Advertisements