The Trudeau Liberal Government’s $10.5 million secret payout to Omar Khadr WAS NOT compelled by any Supreme Court ruling nor is it accurate for the Liberal Government to accuse the former Harper Conservative Government of any wrongdoing or negligence.
The following is a statement from Charlotte Bell QC:
“What I find concerning about the whole thing is that while the Supreme Court wrote that Khadr’s Section 7 Charter Rights had been violated by Canadian officials when they interrogated Khadr in Guantanamo, the Court felt that the remedy would be for the Canadian government to seek his extradition to Canada from Guantanamo, where he was spending time before his trial. Because such an extradition request is entirely within the prerogative of the Government the Court has no jurisdiction to order the government to make it, but, the Court can issue a declaration that the making of such an extradition request would be the right thing to do in hope that the government would “take the hint”.
THERE IS NO SUGGESTION THAT CANADA SHOULD PAY HEALTHY DAMAGES ON TOP OF THAT.
I do find the Government’s comments, when it made the announcement of the payout (which it had not wanted to do but did because it was leaked) disingenuous. The violations took place under the Liberal Government. The Conservative Government did in fact follow the SCC’s ‘suggestion’ and repatriated Khadr. I assume it refused to pay damages taking the view that it had done what the SCC had “suggested” by way of remedying the Charter breach.” – Charlotte Bell QC
(Charlotte Bell is a Constitutional Law lawyer recently retired as Senior General Counsel for the Department of Justice Canada. She has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.)