Over to you, Mr. Harper - Macleans.ca

Over to you, Mr. Harper


As Kirk Makin explained over the weekend, the Supreme Court’s ruling last week on Omar Khadr is something less than a conclusion to the story. Today, Audrey Macklin, Diana Juricevic and Cheryl Milne lay out what it may all mean.

Does this mean that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has won the court’s permission to continue to do nothing? The answer is no … In declining to mandate the executive to take specific steps, the court indicated that the “prudent course at this point” was to give the executive the opportunity to formulate a remedy that fulfills its Charter obligations. However, if the government spurns the opportunity, we may arrive at a different point. A declaration, once issued by a court, is always open to enforcement. Should the violation of Mr. Khadr’s rights go unremedied, the Canadian government will continue to be in violation of the law. It will remain open for Mr. Khadr’s lawyers to return to court at a later date and renew a request for a remedy on the grounds that the circumstances animating the court’s deference have changed, and judicial deference is no longer warranted.


Over to you, Mr. Harper

  1. Lets not forget the breach that needs curing is the violation of his rights in 2002/2003 when Government officials shared information from a discussion when they were aware he had been sleep deprived. Of course the government has to attempt to do something to cure the breach, but if a request is made for repatriation and it is refused what then?

    There is an assumption that if we ask then the Americans will give. But Obama has a political calculation, will he catch heat for returning someone who has been charged with killing a US army medic. Regardless of what you think of the case it is far from certain that a request is granted. I am not sure how much of this, other than determining an attempt to cure, is up to the Canadian government.

    • There is an assumption that if we ask then the Americans will give. But Obama has a political calculation, will he catch heat for returning someone who has been charged with killing a US army medic.

      Especially, if (as I suspect) the Conservatives will give a head's up to their buddies at Fox News and all Hell breaks loose.

      • That''s a good point, but the blindingly obvious thing is that we won't know until we ask. But I suspect you are right, Greg, and Harper won't ask without playing games with it.

      • John McCain said he would release him if Canada asked.

  2. Does anyone else find it interesting that the Liberal Party didn't give a damn about Omar Khadr until Harper was elected?

    Curious eh?

    (or…maybe the increase in muslims, er…potential voters in the GTA had something to do with it)

    • Does anyone else find it interesting that Conservative supporters are incapable of giving a damn about anything but what the Liberal party did half a decade ago?

      • Only when the unprecedented levels of liberal hypocrisy, as reflected in their words today and in comparison to their actions when in power, are manifestly evident for all but the most mindless of liberal supporters to see.

        • Hint: Change of leaders .. thrice.

          You can't accuse the Liberal party today of any hypocrisy because you don't know how they'll act once in power. All you've done is confirm my point, that you're incapable of looking at the hypocrisies going on today because you're so fixated on what happened over two elections ago.

          Try to keep up.

          • Yes, you're right Thwim, my mistake. The Liberals get a free pass on their all their past actions when they change leaders!

    • I find it curious you'd make that assertion given that the Conservatives have been targeting the vote-rich GTA, and most especially its recent immigrants, in the past four years.

  3. This is an excellent opportunity for another first from Stephen Harper. Should the Canadian government proceed with a token measure, then we will have a clear statement not only that Khadr's rights are worthless (which would certainly please many Conservatives and not a few of other stripes) but also that it is within the sole purview of the federal government to make a judgement about which Canadians deserve to have their rights respected and which do not.

    • Abousfian Abdelrazik and Suaad Hagi Mohamud may already have demonstrated the Harper Doctrine on Citizen Worthiness.

      • Well, there are Canadian Citizens, and then there are "Canadian Citizens". Right? Is this thing on?

  4. "The biggest ‘but' in Canadian judicial history
    By Gar Pardy , The Ottawa Citizen"

    Here is another opinion, and a dark one. I sincerely hope Pardy is wrong. He makes a good case until his remarks on the US military commission being comparable to Irans. This is surely just silly!

  5. So… what happens if the Conservatives decide to do nothing? Which I suspect is quite likely: if they can ignore Parliament, they can ignore the Supreme Court.

  6. Hell, I'm not even asking for a free pass, I just want to know when you'll get over it and start paying attention to what's going on now.

  7. If I join a terrorist group, kill an American soldier, will you please fight for me while being held in prison and complaining about how I was treated there? If so …………GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS COUNTRY!!!