Public Safety Minister Vic Toews
Credits: David Bloom/QMI AGENCY
TRURO, NS - Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said he's not surprised a majority of Canadians are uneasy about convicted terrorist and murderer Omar Khadr returning to Canada.
"I have a broader responsibility to the Canadian public to understand the full extent of this individual, who is an admitted terrorist, and admitted murderer and an admitted bomb maker," Toews told QMI Agency while meeting with police officers in Truro, NS.
"Before we bring a Canadian citizen home who has been convicted of these kind of horrendous crimes, I should understand fully the ramifications."
An Abacaus Data poll shows that most Canadians want Khadr to stay in prison at US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba When asked if they support or oppose Khadr's transfer to Canada, 60% say they strongly or somewhat oppose his transfer, while 24% say they strongly or somewhat support his transfer.
Toews said he hasn't seen Khadr's interrogation tape yet and he shouldn't come back to Canada until that happens.
Khadr, 25, was born in Canada and travelled to Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. He admitted to fighting against the US and its allies, including Canada.
In 2010 he was convicted by a US military court of first-degree murder and terrorism in the killing US army medic Sgt. Christopher Speer. Khadr was 15 years old at the time.
He was sentenced to serve eight years, with a political agreement to return him to Canada after one year.
Khadr has been held in Guantanamo Bay since he was captured as an enemy combatant in 2002.
Liberal Senator Romeo Dallaire says Khadr is a child soldier and should be repatriated. The United Nations has also chastised the Canadian government for its handling of the case.