Monday, November 01, 2010

Things that are disfavourable

Who are you going to believe? Lawrence Cannon and his league of Conservative spokespersons:
...according to Melissa Lantsman, Cannon's spokeswoman, the matter is still verboten.

"Omar Khadr has not submitted an application - therefore there is no application to consider," she wrote in an email. "We will not speculate on the transfer process. The process will take its course.

"Should Omar Khadr submit an application, he would be trea ted like any other Canadian who applies for a transfer. No decision can be made until an application is received."
Or your very own eyes:
But senior U.S. government officials, prosecutors and defence attorneys all say that Mr. Cannon has approved the deal and an exchange of diplomatic notes has confirmed the Canadian government will favourably consider Mr. Khadr’s repatriation bid in a year.

The diplomatic notes make it explicitly clear that Ottawa has been involved.

"The Government of Canada therefore wishes to convey that, as requested by the United States, the Government of Canada is inclined to favourably consider Mr. Khadr's application to be transferred to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence, or such portion of the remainder of his sentence as the National Parole Board determines.”
That is an undertaking to a foreign government that the Canadian government will do something and it is being relied upon (full text of exchanged notes). "Favourable" = "expressing approval" according to my handy dictionary. If the government were to try to renege in the future, hard to imagine that would go over well at all. Of course, by November 1, 2011, the Conservatives might be gone from government. We live in hope.

The Conservative distancing is the typical p.r. manipulation of the issue, the masters at work once again. What is important is less the substance of the issue, it's how they look politically in dealing with it. Wonder how many tax dollars are being devoted to the public consumption of the Khadr issue in terms of time spent by staffers, etc. That is where their priorities lie, after all.

The words "charade" and "fiasco" were used yesterday to describe the final act, can't add anything much beyond that. Except that this is one of those legacy decisions that will mark the Harper government and some of us disagree profoundly with their choices.