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Meet Senator

George Furey

The Hon. George  Furey, Q.C., B.A., B.A. (Ed.), M.Ed., LL.B. A distinguished educator and lawyer with deep roots in the community, Senator George Furey is one of the leading citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador. He was appointed to the Senate on August 11, 1999, by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien.

Statements & Hansard

Status of Omar Khadr

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Statement made on 06 July 2010 by Senator Mobina Jaffer

Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer:

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak about Omar Khadr. Omar Khadr was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan. He was only a child. He was there, not out of personal choice, but because his father had taken him there. After being captured, he was transferred to the infamous Guantanamo Bay, where he has been imprisoned for eight years. He has grown up in that terrible place and remains there as the last prisoner from the Western world. He is now 23 years old.

Yesterday, Justice Russel Zinn of the Federal Court of Canada gave the government seven days to come up with a list of remedies for its violations of Omar Khadr's rights. In January of this year, the Supreme Court declared that Omar Khadr's constitutional rights had been infringed upon. In response to this declaration, Justice Zinn ruled that Mr. Khadr "is entitled to procedural fairness and natural justice."

After acknowledging the government's wrongdoing, the Supreme Court demanded the government take action to come up with a remedy to right its wrongs. Unfortunately, our government has made little progress on this issue and has stated that Canada must let the U.S. justice process run its course.

Our Supreme Court of Canada has looked at this issue on a number of occasions and has ruled progressively on this matter. However, each and every time, the government has found ways of escaping its responsibilities. The ruling yesterday by Mr. Justice Zinn was yet another example of the courts bending backwards to accommodate our government's inaction.

Mr. Justice Zinn has now given the government one week to propose remedies as to how it will fix Mr. Khadr's violations. Mr. Justice Zinn said that repatriating Mr. Khadr to Canada is "the only alternative remedy I can see that can potentially cure the breach" of his rights.

I rise today to ask all honourable senators to urge our government to do what Mr. Justice Zinn has suggested and to repatriate Mr. Khadr to Canada. This is the proper course of action. As I have done many times before, I urge our government to listen to our Supreme Court and Federal Court judgments, including this most recent one. Honourable senators, let us urge our government to bring Omar Khadr home.

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

Business of the Senate

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I'm rising to speak on behalf of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cowan, who had to be in Halifax tonight on public business. I must tell you that when I called him to say we were going to be adjourning for the summer tonight, he was, I could tell, quite irritated, not because he wanted us all to go on working like galley slaves but because he had already written a speech that he wanted to give tomorrow morning.

Lighthouses as Irreplaceable Symbols of Maritime Heritage—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Thank you, Your Honour, and my apologies to Senator Champagne.

Unequal Access to Justice—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I know that Senator Jaffer was preparing to close this debate but, before she did that, I just had to say how terribly important the subject she has raised is.

The Senate—Promoting and Defending Causes that Concern the Public Interest—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Honourable senators, I am looking for a bit of love and empathy at this late hour because I do have a speech, but you have to understand that, in the interest of having dignified departures for our five senators this week, I gave up my time to make sure that we were able to celebrate the departures of Senator Buth, Senator Segal, Senator Callbeck, Senator Dallaire and Senator Champagne.

Study on Status of Canada's International Security and Defence Relations

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchell | So, you thought you weren't going to hear from me? Well, I fooled you! So there! I rise in support of this report by the Defence Committee recommending that Canada become involved in ballistic missile defence with NORAD. I congratulate Senator Lang and other members of the committee for what I think was great collaborative work, completely non-partisan, very extensive and detailed with intense research.
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