Credits: REUTERS/Janet Hamlin/Pool
A cause for some to celebrate, but for the majority of Canadians, something to shake their heads about in resignation.
Really, there was no way to avoid him coming back to the country of his birth, if not his affections. And whatever anyone thinks of the case, the sky isn't going to fall.
He's being held in Millhaven at the moment, but when you examine his case, he's committed no crime against Canada and perhaps shouldn't be in jail at all.
Although convicted of terrorism and murder at his trial at Guantanamo Bay, that's a stretch too. Terrorism, yes, but murder? Confessing was part of the deal.
The soldier he killed -- and has admitted killing -- was invading the country he'd given his allegiance to (Afghanistan), and a cause he was pledged to help (al-Qaida).
He was in Afghanistan long before 9/11 occurred, so when American soldiers invaded and he fought back, that surely isn't a "murder" in the conventional sense of the word.
To call him an "illegal combatant" is more semantics.
Granted, he may be a dangerous man today after a decade of incarceration with ideological fanatics at Gitmo. Then again, maybe not.
He and his al-Qaida family have little reason to resent Canada -- and a hell of a lot of reasons for being grateful to it. Some countries wouldn't tolerate the continued citizenship of the Khadr family.
It's hard to see any reason why he shouldn't soon be released.
Maybe he needs time to adjust, to relearn what it's like to live in an orderly society (something he's never known).
Very likely, his severest test will be to accommodate his "new" friends -- the lefties, human rights zealots, Anti-Ameriks, the well-meaning-but-sometimes-misguided folks at Amnesty International and, of course, the CBC and Toronto Star. Oh yes, and the NDP.
They'll combine to make him into some sort of folk-hero, if only to tweak the Harper government, which wanted no part of Khadr but was stuck with him as a citizen and is trying to make the best of it.
The Liberals have been mostly quiet about Khadr, since it was under Jean Chretien and Paul Martin that Canada initially wanted no part of his return.
There's still a lot of fuss about him being a "child soldier" of 15 in 2002 when his grenade killed the medic who was trying to help him. Forget it.
One has to assume he knew what he was doing at that age, just as hundreds of Canadians knew what they were doing in the First World War and Korea when they managed to enlist as "child soldiers" -- and did very well, thank you.
One hopes Khadr adjusts to a Canada he hasn't seen for some 20 years.
It won't be easy. Will he find a job? And what kind of job? Will he go on welfare?
It's hard to say, especially when "new" friends intrude in his life.
During his decade in Gitmo, Khadr seems to have alternated between understanding his situation to resenting it. He seems intelligent, albeit unschooled.
What has yet to be determined is if he's still a zealot for al-Qaida, a jihadist, or if that phase is behind him?
Doubtless authorities will be watching closely.
For all our sakes -- and Khadr's -- one hopes he's put his past behind him.
But don't bet on it ... yet.