The Toronto Star… OTTAWA–Canadians remain deeply divided on what should happen to Omar Khadr, the Canadian jailed at Guantanamo Bay, but a growing number believe he will be treated fairly if a U.S. military trial goes ahead, a poll shows.
Conducted by Angus Reid Strategies for the Toronto Star, the survey shows 42 per cent of Canadians believe Khadr should be brought back to face “due process under Canadian law.” That’s up from 37 per cent of Canadians more than a year ago.
Almost an equal amount, 40 per cent, think Khadr should be left to face trial by military commission at Guantanamo Bay. About 19 per cent are unsure what the best option is.
Khadr, now 22, was 15 when he was arrested in the 2002 death of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan.
When asked about the prospects for a fair trial if Khadr is left to face justice in Guantanamo, 40 per cent agreed he would be treated fairly, up from 32 per cent a year ago. The number of those who disagreed – 45 per cent – also grew, up from 41 per cent.
A similar split exists over how the Conservative government is handling the case. Ottawa announced last week it will challenge Khadr repatriation orders to the Supreme Court of Canada, and 41 per cent agree with that move, while 40 per cent disagree.
A slim majority – 52 per cent – do not have sympathy for Khadr’s plight. That’s up seven points from last January. Just 38 per cent continue to sympathize with Khadr. About 11 per cent were unsure.
The online survey of a randomized sample of 1,006 Canadians was conducted late last week.