Link hosts: Lynn Desjardins, Marc Montgomery, Levon Sevunts

Link hosts: Lynn Desjardins, Marc Montgomery, Levon Sevunts
Photo Credit: RCI

The LINK Online, Sun. July 9, 2017

Your hosts Lynn, Levon, and Marc (video of show at bottom)

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Lawyer Dennis Edney (L) and Omar Khadr (R). The Canadian Liberal government appears on the verge of paying a $10.5 million settlement and issue an apology for human rights violations to former Guatnanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr.
Lawyer Dennis Edney (L) and Omar Khadr (R). The Canadian Liberal government appears on the verge of paying a $10.5 million settlement and issue an apology for human rights violations to former Guatnanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr. © ason Franson/Canadian Press

Since the story, it has been confirmed the Canadian government has paid a settlement to Canadian citizen Omar Khadr.

Khadr was only 15 when severely wounded while fighting with the Taliban against US forces in which he is alleged to have killed a US soldier and wounded another.

The debate swirls around whether he was a victim of his father’s extremist Islamic views, whether he was a child soldier or eager combattant and so exempt possibly from the U.N. definition of child soldier.

He spent ten years in the US Guantanamo prison subjected to treatment which qualifies as torture, and Canada’s Supreme Court made two rulings that the Canadian government was complicit in that torture and failed in their domestic and international obligations to a citizen.

The government says the payment (amount not confirmed) was to put an end to a $20 million civil lawsuit by Khadr based on the Supreme Court and human rights issue, not on anything to do with the firefight in Afghanistan and those surrounding issues.

Marc spoke with Sharry Aiken, a professor of international law at Queen’s University Kingston.

An agreement obliging Canada to return asylum-seekers to the U.S. is being called unconstitutional.
An agreement obliging Canada to return asylum-seekers to the U.S. is being called unconstitutional. © Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

It’s called the “Safe Third Country Agreement”. It’s a deal between Canada and the U.S. which says that a refugee claimant must make their claim in the country the land in and cannot travel from Canada to make a claim in the U.S. or vice versa.

The presumption is that both countries are safe havens for refugees and as such refugees entering from either country are turned back.

Several Canadian refugee advocacy groups are saying the U.S. is no longer a safe place for refugees and that the agreement should be scrapped. This would allow refugees to travel from the U.S to make an asylum claim in Canada.

A refugee known as “E” aided by Amnesty International Canada has started a legal action in Canada to argue that point.

Lynn spoke to Gloria Nafziger from Amnesty Canada.

The International Maritime Organization has adopted a Canadian proposal to begin the process of developing rules on mitigating the risks of use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) to power ships operating in Arctic waters.
The International Maritime Organization has adopted a Canadian proposal to begin the process of developing rules on mitigating the risks of use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) to power ships operating in Arctic waters. © Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press

Heavy fuel oil, or bunker oil, is the lowest grade of fuel and it’s inexpensive. It’s the most common form of fuel for large ships, but burning it results in high levels of black soot, sulphur,  and other particulates.

Also in the cold climate of the Arctic the thick toxic fuel wouldn’t break down, would likely be trapped in the ice and nobody has figured out how to clean it up in the event of an Arctic spill.

Canada with the support of several nations submitted a report to the International Maritime Organisation asking it to institute measures to mitigate the risk of a bunker fuel spill in the far north.

On Friday, the IMO announced that Canada’s proposal has been accepted.

Levon spoke with Andrew Dumbrille, specialist in sustainable shipping with World Wildlife Fund Canada.

Posted by Radio Canada International on Friday, July 7, 2017

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