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Letter to the Ottawa Citizen, February 4, 2010

Same policy on Khadr

Senator David Tkachuk, The Ottawa Citizen

   Re: The biggest 'but' in Canadian judicial history, Jan. 30.

   In his opinion article, Gar Pardy takes umbrage with the recent unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Canada which stated that the government is not required to ask for accused terrorist Omar Khadr's return to Canada.

   This is an interesting position for a former diplomat. Given his extensive experience, Pardy knows full well that decisions on foreign relations are the prerogative of the executive branch of government. Governments are elected and, therefore, our foreign relations are based on what Canadians want.

   Khadr is accused of the murder of U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer, and other offences. The Obama administration has identified Khadr for trial under a military commission in the United States.

   It is important to note that our government is following the same policy toward Khadr as the Liberal governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin -- governments that Pardy served. It is also of interest that Pardy apparently made no comment on this matter until after the Conservatives formed the government in 2006.

   Senator David Tkachuk,

   Saskatoon