Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 49

Monday, July 12, 2010
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Foreign Affairs

Status of Omar Khadr

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is also for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Last Monday, Justice Zinn of the Federal Court of Canada gave the government one week to come up with a list of remedies for its violation of Khadr’s constitutional rights. Today is the day of the deadline. It has been one week.

What exactly is the government’s response to Justice Zinn? Today is our day to act. What is our government doing to bring Omar Khadr home?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, I will read into the record a statement made just a few moments ago by the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada:

After careful consideration of the legal merits of the July 5, 2010, ruling from the Federal Court, the Government of Canada will appeal the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal. This case raises important issues concerning the Crown prerogative over foreign affairs. As the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in an earlier case involving Mr. Khadr, `it would not be appropriate for the court to give direction as to the diplomatic steps necessary to address the breaches of Mr. Khadr’s Charter rights.’ Omar Khadr faces very serious charges, including murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, material support for terrorism, and spying. The Government of Canada continues to provide consular services to Mr. Khadr.

Since the matter remains before the courts, I will make no further comment.