As media reports broke that Omar Khadr was finally being flown back to Canada via US military transport and driven to Millhaven Institution in Bath, Ontario (near Kingston) – now confirmed by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews – commentators were already asking how the case will be remembered. While extremely welcome and long overdue, repatriation is simply the start of a new chapter in this decade old saga.
Up until now, many of us expected the battle around Omar Khadr’s transfer to be settled in the Canadian courts. While today’s transfer pre-empts yet another inevitable negative decision – the courts have consistently ruled against the government over the years – Canada is not off the hook. An explanation for the long delay is owed not just to Omar Khadr, but to the Canadian public.