NATIONAL PULSE – 71% say government made wrong call on settling with Khadr out of court

Omar Khadr.

Many say they would have offered apology, but not financial compensation


The vast majority of Canadians say the federal government made the wrong decision in settling a lawsuit with former child soldier Omar Khadr and instead apologizing and paying him $10.5 million in compensation for his treatment as a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

A new survey from the Angus Reid Institute indicates more than seven-in-ten (71%) are of the opinion the Trudeau government should have fought the case and left it to the courts to decide whether Khadr was wrongfully imprisoned.

Further, most Canadians reject the notion that government officials had “no choice” but to settle – but money appears to be the main source of opposition to the deal. Canadians are slightly more inclined to have said sorry to Khadr than offer compensation, had the decision been in their own hands.

While Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale blamed the previous Conservative Government of Stephen Harper for not dealing with the issue sooner, current Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has responded by calling the settlement “disgusting”. Unsurprisingly, views diverge sharply along political lines. Where past Conservative voters are unequivocal in their views, there is less consensus among those who voted Liberal and NDP in the 2015 election.

khadr compensation

Key Findings:

  • When asked if Omar Khadr has ultimately been treated fairly or unfairly, Canadians most commonly answer that they are unsure (42%); slightly more are inclined to say he’s had fair treatment (34%) than unfair (24%)
  • Two-thirds (65%) reject the notion the Trudeau government had “no choice” but to settle and offer Omar Khadr an apology and compensation
  • The same number (64%) also agree that Khadr remains a “potential radicalized threat” now living in Canada

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (5882 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on NATIONAL PULSE – 71% say government made wrong call on settling with Khadr out of court

  1. I totally agree with Sandra. We are all being too emotional about this. Read The Walrus article
    I see no evidence that he killed anyone.

  2. Sandra Burkholder // July 11, 2017 at 8:29 AM // Reply

    The courts would have awarded more and taxpayers would have been on the hook for a lot more costs. The court found that his fundamental human rights were shredded. Our opinions as Canadians are not law so how we feel about the money, is, to some extent, irrelevant. This whole case is predicated on the notion that Khadr was guilty. What if he wasn’t? As a former journalist I’m finding the work of the National Observer worth listening to, and appreciate the investigative efforts the organization puts into moving past rhetoric. I would encourage all of us to step back and consider the arguments and use our analytical and critical thinking skills instead of our off-the-cuff emotional outrage when coming to a conclusion. Here is the link Please do read it and other commentary/facts that challenges our perceptions of what might or might not have happened.

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