Omar Khadr requests Alberta youth court to declare his sentence expired
Omar Khadr, the well known former Guantanamo Bay prisoner convicted of killing an American
The sentencing itself was imposed by a widely maligned military commission in the United States.
In a separate application before federal court, Khadr attempted to force national parole authorities to grant him a hearing at which he would argue for release.
Khadr’s Edmonton-based lawyer said in an interview that Khadr is trying to ensure an end point to the eight-year sentence that the commission imposed on him in 2010.
If Khadr had remained in custody, his sentence would have expired this past October. However, the clock stopped ticking when an Alberta judge freed him on bail in May of 2015 pending his appeal of his military commission conviction for war crimes; a long process that still has no timetable for resolution.
“The bail order does interrupt the ticking of the clock but practically speaking, the guy has served his sentence now,” lawyer Nate Whitling said from Edmonton. “The youth court judge does have the authority to just simply terminate the sentence and say, ‘it’s over now’.”
Khadr was punished for the murder of US Army Sergeant 1st Class Christopher Speer when he was 15 years old.
His application, to be heard this month, asks a youth judge to release him under supervision for a single day, then declare his sentence served.
One hurdle Khadr must overcome is proving the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has jurisdiction because the international treaty that Khadr was transferred to Canada from Guantanamo Bay could be interpreted as precluding such a review.
If that view prevails, his application asks the judge to declare that part of the treaty unconstitutional.
“As with everything in Omar’s case, there’s no precedent,” Whitling said. “We’re confident that if he were to be given a parole hearing, he’d be an extremely strong candidate for full parole with minimal conditions. He’s been out all this time under these conditions and under close supervision,” says Whitling.
Since his release on bail in 2015, Khadr has found a home in Edmonton, and has lived there without incident. The courts have eased his bail conditions, though several remain in place, despite his best efforts to have them lifted.
“He’s got these conditions on him and essentially right now, they’re going to be there indefinitely,” Whitling said. “We would like to get Omar’s clock ticking again. We want this sentence to actually start ticking, so it will expire.”
Under their own rules, the Americans could have detained Khadr indefinitely, even if the commission had acquitted him. Khadr claims he pleaded guilty to the war-crimes charges only as a way out of Guantanamo.
Khadr was sent to Gitmo just a few months after he was captured as a wounded 15 year old in Afghanistan in July 2002. The U.S. accused him of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier.
In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled Canada violated his rights while he was a U.S. captive, leading the government to give Khadr the infamous $10.5 million in compensation in July 2017.
It’s a fair reminder that Justin Trudeau had stated that the anger that surrounded the Omar Khadr case ensures that a scenario of similar circumstances would never happen again.
“I understand the member opposite’s outrage at the Omar Khadr settlement, I understand Canadian’s outrage, I understand how angry I am that we had to settle,” Trudeau responded passionately.
“The fact is that we should all be outraged, and remain outraged that a Canadian government violated a Canadian’s fundamental right.”
He also brought up that being angry about paying out his money will help ensure that Canada will think twice before violating Charter Rights again.
In the past, Trudeau had also defended the settlement, saying fighting the lawsuit would cost taxpayers more. While he has said he had concerns about the money, he hadn’t said he disagrees with the decision to settle the lawsuit.
What do you think of the ongoing Omar Khadr situation? Let us know in the comments below.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has made an announcement a few minutes ago, criticizing Trudeau on his damage towards Canadian confederation. He also spoke about his thoughts on last night’s federal election, stating that it was “the largest democratic mandate in Albertan history, voting for the CPC.”
Kenney spoke of his conversation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, where he “told the PM that behind these [election] numbers lies a sense of alienation that must be taken seriously. Many Albertans feel betrayed… we are tired”
Kenney mentioned the strain that the federal government has placed on Alberta, “There have been suicides . . . we must give frustrated Albertans an opportunity to speak their minds. Moderates are now speaking to me about separation.”
Much of this ire owes itself to Ottawa’s equalization policy, which he deemed “fundamentally unfair.” Kenney demanded that complete reform to the equalization policy would be necessary to preserve the integrity of Canada’s economic union.
Last night, the Liberal Party failed to win a single seat in Alberta, as the Conservative Party swept the province. The only seat that wasn’t won by the Conservative Party was Edmonton-Strathcona, which was won by the NDP.
No federal party achieved any broad support from greater Canadian society. The Liberals relied solely upon Laurentian metropolitan centres, the Conservatives from rural and western Canada, and the Greens and NDP merely collecting a meagre number of seats from their strongholds. Overnight, it has become apparent that Canada is a deeply divided country.
No more so is this the case than in western Canada, whose frustration with the Liberal government was most starkly visible through the popular vote. Although the Liberal Party won the greatest number of seats, the Conservative Party collected the most votes; a testament to the first-past-the-post voting system. This phenomenon came as a result of the enormous majorities the Conservatives were able to muster in southern Alberta.
Despite some frustration with Andrew Scheer’s failure to defeat Trudeau, Kenney stated it would be a big mistake to force the Conservative leader out: “Andrew has earned the trust of Canadian Conservatives and certainly the right to contest the next election… he has my unequivocal support.”
Since Justin Trudeau was elected in 2015, Alberta has long been frustrated by Ottawa’s implementation of the carbon tax and their handling of oil and gas resources within the province— so much so, that “Wexit,” or Western Exit of Canada, has been trending on Twitter.
At the end of Kenney’s press conference, he stated his intention to launch a full referendum on equalization. He stated that Alberta will force the issue of equalization “into the national agenda come hell or highwater.”
If Ottawa chooses to ignore Alberta’s pleas for fairness, Kenney sated that Justin Trudeau’s government “will pose a serious risk to national unity … I fear the alienation will go in a very serious direction.”
If four years’ worth of Liberal government policy, refracted through an identity politics lens and subsequent brow beating of any dissent wasn’t enough, Canada’s electoral map paints a clash-of-colours portrait of how divided the country actually is having endured it.
And the ultimate loser for this tactic, employed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his righthand man Gerald Butts (the de facto PM), who gamed most everything as an “anointed versus neanderthals, bigots and racists” issue, was the nation.
Even when Trudeau was mocked for correcting a woman at a town hall for using “mankind”, when according to our PM that henceforth it should be referred to as “peoplekind”, Butts saw Nazis everywhere.
To be sure, the identity politics and related hypocrisy on this front, by the Liberal leader himself (i.e. #TrudeauBlackface being the most egregious), hurt the party as it dropped 20 seats and lost majority government status after Monday night’s federal vote.
In the aftermath of Canada’s 43rd general election, Trudeau and the Liberals held just 157 seats – a baker’s dozen of MPs shy of majority carte blanche for another four years – while Conservatives and their leader Andrew Scheer added just 26 MPs to their caucus, falling far short of beating Trudeau.
And not since incumbent-Progressive Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell’s stunning election blowout in 1993, has the Bloc Quebecois been in position to play an influential role in a new federal government.
Then it was the Reform Party’s rise under Preston Manning, a western-centric party whose success in Alberta basically gifted then-Bloc Leader Lucien Bouchard the unlikely role leading Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition against Jean Chrétien’s Liberal majority.
Today, it’s an overcrowded left and a weakened New Democrat Party, whose third-party status was gutted after Monday’s election, much of that support likely going to new Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet’s separatists, who won over Quebecers unimpressed with any federalist alternative.
The Bloc’s won in 32 ridings – a 22 seat boost from the last federal vote – also knocked Singh and the NDP from third party spot in the House of Commons, while the nation watched Quebec’s political pendulum swung back toward a more nationalistic, self-interest.
But this loss for Canada’s stalwart, left-wing party could hardly be detected in Singh’s rambling, congratulatory speech that sounded more like a victory address.
As ironic as the separatist Bouchard’s station in Parliament some 26 years ago, was that Singh’s losing night – New Democrats dropped 15 seats and lost official third party status – remains enough to hold the balance of power in Ottawa, by propping up Trudeau and the Liberals.
Looking West, the federation’s economic engine Alberta has turned nearly completely Conservative blue, and Saskatchewan is all blue; Quebec is again beset with a separatist insurgency, while incumbent-Trudeau’s party remains strong in the Laurentien regions; Maritimes, urban regions of Quebec, Toronto’s 416 and the Ottawa valley.
Given this result, the embattled TMX project and other moribund pipelines to get Albertan oil to tidewater, western separatism is now trending on social media via #Wexit, complete with the added vitriol that only anonymous Twitter accounts can provide; in the following instance, aimed at Newfoundland voters.
But vitriol is not required to divide, as Butts’ social media presence proved, and combined with anointed Liberal bromides heard through the past four years impressed upon the plebes that only they could lead us to a new era of “inclusion” and “strength in diversity”.
To see what the country looks like today – the posturing of separatists in Quebec, disaffected westerners and indigenous groups who back TMX and those who don’t – it is clear to anyone who isn’t a mushroom that there is little “inclusion” in today’s Canada, just weakness in a sea of diversity.
And even while his own party race hustled – Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told a largely Somali crowd on Canada Day that Conservatives “danced with white supremacists” – then fielded anti-Semites like ex-activist Sameer Zuberi, Butts pretended it was only the other guys who did this sort of thing.
On October 21, Butts took particular Twitter glee after Scheer got hammered by a reporter for hiring political fixer Warren Kinsella to dig, then gin up any racist dirt he could find on Maxime Bernier and his People’s Party of Canada.
But the facile narratives pushed by Butts, and let’s face it, given plenty of oxygen by our establishment media, for example that “only conservatives can be racist”, was but just one Canadians have been assailed with, in increasing intensity since Trudeau took power in 2015.
Other bogus narratives pushed on the public included that it was somehow “unCanadian” to question Canada’s current open border policy loophole regarding our Safe Third Country Agreement with United States.
And this “unCanadian” line was trotted out several times, by Trudeau and his minions whilst Immigration Canada was straining under the growing backlog of asylum claims; nearly 50,000 made by people illegally entering the country from New York State.
Another classic fake narrative that predated Trudeau, but was serially employed by his Minister of Environment and Climate (action) Catherine McKenna, was anyone who questioned the science of a looming climate apocalypse, is akin to questioning the Holocaust, ie; “a denier”.
So here we are as a federation after four years of toxic discourse: divided and adrift, led by a prime minister that barely three out of 10 voters supported, and no opposition worthy of earning a mandate to carve a different, unifying path.
The major Canadian oil company Husky Energy has announced hundreds of layoffs in the country.
According to Bloomberg, Husky Energy Inc will be laying off hundreds of workers Tuesday as the company has been bracing for impact on oil production and low pricing.
“Today we did have to say goodbye to some of our colleagues. Husky has been taking steps to better align the organization and workforce with our capital plan and strategy,” said Kim Guttormson, a spokesperson for the company.
Most of the job losses will affect western Canada, a majority being in Calgary.
Last year, Husky redirected $300 million of this year’s budget to brace for the ailing oil sector and are expecting to see a 10 percent decrease in annual capital spending.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has penned a letter demanding that a new deal be negotiated for Alberta and Saskatchewan.
In his letter, Moe points out that the new Liberal minority government does not represent Saskatchewan and Alberta at all. Following the election, Conservatives won all 14 seats in Saskatchewan, as well as 33 out of 34 seats in Alberta, with a lone NDP candidate. The Liberals were shut out of both provinces.
“In Canada, we now have a Liberal minority government that did not receive the popular vote, has no clear mandate, will be supported by either a fourth place party that has never governed or a party that does not want to be part of this nation,” Moe writes. “This minority government also has no representation from Saskatchewan or Alberta.”
“It’s time for a new deal with Canada.”
Moe decided to take Prime Minister Justin Trudeau up on his offer of support, saying that nice words are great, but Saskatchewan and Alberta want action, and they want it now.
To remedy the fractured relationship between Western Canada and the East, Moe proposed three solutions:
- Cancel the federal carbon tax.
- Commit to negotiate a new equalization formula that is fair to Saskatchewan and Alberta.
- Commit to develop a plan to ensure Saskatchewan and Alberta can get our exports to international markets. This means pipelines.
“I am ready to meet with Prime Minister Trudeau at any time to discuss how he will be moving forward on these issues. Prime Minister, you said you heard our frustrations and want to support us,” Moe continues.
“We are ready for you to prove it.”