Vic Toews: Still not ready to say yes


Three months after first receiving Omar Khadr’s application to return to Canada—and 21 months after the Harper government assured the American government that it was inclined to look favourably upon such an application—Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says he needs more information.

In a formal letter sent Thursday to both U.S. defence secretary Leon Panetta and Khadr’s Toronto lawyer, John Norris, Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews states that in order to have Khadr sent back to serve the remainder of his sentence in Canada, officials north of the boarder must be given access to sealed video footage of separate interviews with Khadr that were carried out by two psychiatrists during the lead-up to Khadr’s trial in 2010.

Toews also stated complete reports from Dr. Michael Welner and Dr. Alan Hopewell have not been supplied to Correctional Service of Canada and the parole board, and that both are required to administer Khadr’s sentence in Canada, according to sources familiar with the letter.

As Jonathan Kay notes, there are questions about the involvement of Dr. Welner in this case. Reg Whitaker’s review of Ezra Levant’s book on Omar Khadr is here. Ezra Levant’s response to Whitaker’s review is here. More on Dr. Welner’s testimony herehereherehere and here.

The CBC recently interviewed both Dr. Welner, who worked for the prosecution in Mr. Khadr’s case, and Dr. Stephen Xenakis, who worked for the defence.


Vic Toews: Still not ready to say yes

  1. Two rather, um, amusing spelling mistakes. Freudian slips:

    – “Pubic Safety Minister Vic Toews” – really?
    – “officials north of the boarder”

  2. My money is on Toews continuing to stall until after the US election, in hope of re-visiting Khadr’s deal if Romney wins.

    • Is there any evidence that a Romney administration would be any less eager to wipe their hands of Khadr than the Obama administration is?

      • No evidence that I’ve seen, but since Toews seems to be looking for any reason (no matter how ridiculous) not to honour the deal made re: Khadr, I would’nt be surprised if he tried to re-open the deal with a new US gov’t.

  3. What? This is new…until now, the Cons have made a point of never listening to recognized authorities on any given topic, least of all in matters relating to crime and corrections. Why is the opinion of “expert” witnesses so crucial here?

  4. If Vic Toews wants advice on moral depravity he doesn’t need Ezra Levant or obscure American psychiatirists, He just needs to spend an extra 5 minutes with the mirror while shaving in the morning.

  5. The Yanks should just put him on a plane and deliver him to Canada.

  6. We know the Khadr family’s reason for being in Canada , the use of the health care and welfare. WE know they take joy in westerners being killed.WE know Omar does not believe he did anything wrong by aiding people who were killing Canadian soldiers. Has there been some magical solution invented that takes the terror out of terrorists? All I can say is Khadr family please leave Canada you have spit on our way of life long enough.

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