Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau went on a town hall yesterday and one of the first questions to be immediately asked by a young girl from the audience was the one that will haunt Mr. Trudeau for the rest of this time as a politician: “why do you think it’s OK to give $10.5 million to a person that killed a soldier?”
The question asked referred to the popular opinion of Canadians, a whopping 71 percent of whom still believe that their government made the wrong choice last year by settling a case out of court for a $10.5million payment for a former Guantanamo detainee, Mr. Omar Khadr, who was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan and sent to the U.S. military base in Cuba.
Later on, he was charged in court for throwing a grenade killing US Army Sergeant Christopher Speer in 2002, when Mr. Khadr was still only 15 years old. He at first pleaded guilty to murder but afterward changed his plea and said he was coerced into making it.
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At the time, the Canadian government made the choice of not going to court with the Khadr family who claimed they had been wronged, saying that by settling the case in this manner they had saved the Canadians from a possible larger payment.
Trudeau explained the reason why, in his view, the government settled with Khadr:
“That when a government violates a Canadian, any Canadian’s fundamental rights, and allows them to be tortured, there are consequences and we all must pay.”
“The question is not what Omar Khadr did or didn’t do. That’s being settled in other venues.”
“The question is what the Government of Canada did or didn’t do and that as a deterrent, as taking responsibility, and that as actually avoiding what could have been a $40-million payout at the end of the day was why we made that decision.”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Trudeau tells crowd you should be upset about the Khadr payout. “I am!” Lesson here: “ When a govt violates any Canadian’s fundamental rights and allows them to be tortured, there are consequences."</p>— David Akin 🇨🇦 (@davidakin) <a href="https://twitter.com/davidakin/status/950885211956502528?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 10, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Canadian Conservative opposition leader Mr. Andrew Scheer continues to rule that the payout is “disgusting” and sends a terrible message to both Canada’s military members and its veterans.