Trust­ing the courts can back­fire

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Let courts de­cide on Khadr set­tle­ment (July 18)

The writer joins many who lament mak­ing a cash of­fer and pro­vid­ing an apol­ogy. Best let the courts de­cide is one de­mand.

More than a decade ago, a court chal­lenge was made by a sin­gle veteran to re­turn ben­e­fit claw­backs the gov­ern­ment was im­pos­ing. It grew into a class ac­tion in­volv­ing thou­sands of vet­er­ans, many of whom were dis­abled.

Af­ter the gov­ern­ment fought it all the way to the Supreme Court, the amount awarded in 2012 was $887 mil­lion. Le­gal bills to­talled $66 mil­lion and some $82 mil­lion in in­ter­est was in­cluded. At­tempts to set­tle ear­lier were turned down. Trust­ing the courts can back­fire and lead to un­nec­es­sary ex­pense. In the Khadr case, $30 mil­lion to $40 mil­lion was es­ti­mated.

With the Supreme Court twice hav­ing ruled Khadr was de­nied pro­tec­tion un­der our Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms, the Lib­er­als’ de­ci­sion seems right.

As to it be­ing part of “yet an­other round of bro­ken prom­ises by Justin Trudeau,” Cana­di­ans have ac­cess to the sta­tus of all 225 prom­ises made. TrudeauMeter is a non-par­ti­san, not for profit, col­lab­o­ra­tive ser­vice, which up­dates daily. A prom­ise is a prom­ise and, for ex­am­ple, get­ting 25,000 refugees in by a cer­tain date was listed as a bro­ken one for be­ing two months late.

As of July 21 the Lib­er­als have not started work on 80 prom­ises, 61 are works in progress, 53 have been kept and 31 bro­ken. Rather than gen­er­al­iza­tions, eval­u­at­ing this wealth of in­for­ma­tion seems a bet­ter way to look at progress. Richard Ring, Grimsby

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