The $10.5 million payment made by the Trudeau government to terror tyke Omar Khadr handed Andrew Scheer and the CPC party a great issue to defeat the Liberals in the next election. But Scheer is going to have to do better than he is now doing if he hopes to capitalize on the gift he has been given.
Hours before Americans began their July 4th celebrations, news was leaked the government intended to pay the $10.5 million to the most prominent member of Canada’s First Family of Terrorism. Two days later, it was revealed the money had already been paid, no doubt to prevent the funds from being seized by Tabitha Speer and Layne Morris. Speer’s husband Christopher, an American medic was killed when Khadr threw a grenade at him in Afghanistan in 2002. Former Sgt. Layne Morris was blinded in one eye.
Scheer responded after the payment became public and after three Liberal cabinet held a press conference blaming the necessity of the payment on the previous Harper government. The Liberals said the payment had to be made because the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2010 Khadr’s Charter rights were breached by Canadian government officials. In Scheer’s response he said all the right things; that the breaches found by Canada’s highest court all occurred during the Liberal governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. And, the court never ruled damages had to be paid to Khadr.
To what must have disappointed Trudeau and his trained seals, a poll taken after news of the payment was made public showed 71 percent of Canadians opposed to paying the left’s favourite terrorist. But what is disconcerting is remarks Scheer made at a barbeque at the Calgary Stampede. The Calgary Herald quoted Scheer as saying the Tories will make the Liberals take a stand on the issue after the House resumes sitting in September. They, of course will all stand in favour of the payment to Khadr because Sock Boy Trudeau supports it. And if Scheer plans to wait until September to hammer home how wrong the deal is, he might as well concede right now he will never become prime minister of Canada.
Canadians are divided on the issue of whether the payment should have been made. Progressive terrorist sympathizers who follow politics closely hold the view poor Omar is just a victim and worthy of being compensated. It doesn’t matter a 15-year-old in Canada can be tried as an adult for serious crimes. It doesn’t matter Khadr’s acts have never been tested in Canada at a trial. Khadr was just a poor child soldier and everything that went wrong for him was as a result of the Harper government.
On the other side are those Canadians who are opposed to the payment. Khadr is a terrorist who killed an American soldier and should not be rewarded. No court ordered such a payment and the government should have taken Khadr’s civil claim to trial so all the facts would come out. The Canadian government should not reward someone by making them a multi-millionaire for fighting for Canada’s enemy in an attempt to destroy our way of life.
But there is also a third group. These people consist of so-called low information voters who pay little attention to the political landscape. What if anything they know about Khadr and the circumstances of his capture, detention and windfall, comes from the mainstream media. By and large the Canadian media hail the member of the al Qaeda family as a poor victim. These voters pay little attention to the media and buy the left wing media spin that Justin Trudeau, with his nice looking hair and fancy socks, is a great prime minister. Barring the payment being kept in the public spotlight, these low information voters will forget all about it in a couple of weeks. Waiting until September to bring it up will get Scheer and the CPC nowhere.
There are issues and then there are issues. While many policies of the government are those reasonable people can disagree about, the issue of the payment to Khadr goes to the very heart of what type of country Canada is, or is becoming. If Scheer is serious about winning the next election, he has to keep going after Trudeau about the payment to Khadr. And he has to go after him personally.
Scheer need not turn into a Donald Trump clone to win the next election. But there are lessons to be learned from the 2016 Republican primary and the American general election. Trump won, in part, because he wasn’t afraid to viciously attack his opponents and more importantly he went after the media that attacked him. Both of these things kept him in the public eye and gave him more time to make his case to the voters. The mainstream media in Canada treats Conservatives the same way the American media treats Republicans. Liberals good; Conservatives bad. Scheer will generally be ignored by the media until the election approaches at which time he will be painted as a homophobe, an Islamophobe and other “phobes” too numerous to mention.
Scheer got his 15 minutes of fame in his reaction to the payment, but anything about Khadr he says in the future, if it makes news at all, will take second place to what type of socks Justin is wearing and pictures of his never ending selfies. Unless the CPC leader goes after his opponents and the media the way Trump did.
The Khadr payment is not just a matter of money; it involves the government’s sympathy toward terrorists who want to destroy our way of life. Now the Little Potato is saying he feels uncomfortable about the payment but he only did it to save Canadians between $30 and $40 billion in costs if Khadr’s claim went to trial. This is an out and out lie. The only thing Trudeau, in his insulated progressive world feels bad about is that so many Canadians opposed the payment. Scheer needs to call out Trudeau for the liar he is and spend all summer doing it. Scheer needs to point out how puny the $30-$40 million Justin is kindly saving the taxpayers he purports to care so much about by showing how many billions Trudeau spent since becoming PM. Much of the government’s money has gone to foreign countries at the expense of Canadians.
It is obvious anyone who says budgets balance themselves and that we need to reconsider such basics as time and space is not qualified to lead this country. Scheer needs to constantly remind Canadians of this fact. Really going after the Boy Blunder is the only way Scheer has to form the next government. Merely going into the details of what the Supreme Court of Canada ruled is not sufficient. Setting out the roles played by the Chrétien, Martin and Harper governments is not sufficient. Waiting two months to go after the Liberals when Parliament resumes is not sufficient. Trudeau and his cabinet must be strongly attacked for giving $10.5 million to a terrorist and then lying about it.
In his initial comments on the payment, Scheer described the payment as “disgusting.” No Mr. Scheer, the payment was not disgusting. Justin Trudeau is disgusting. And you need to constantly remind Canadians of that fact.
Arthur Weinreb is an author, columnist and Associate Editor of Canada Free Press. Arthur’s latest book, Ford Nation: Why hundreds of thousands of Torontonians supported their conservative crack-smoking mayor is available at Amazon. Racism and the Death of Trayvon Martin is also available at Smashwords. His work has appeared on Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com. Arthur can be reached at:
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