No Second Class Citizens

Just short note today.  I wanted again go on record about how unacceptable it is that we have two classes of citizen in this country.

Since 9/11, both the Liberal and Conservatives have been willing to have two types of citizens. One is white, possibly lapsed Christian or Jew, and enjoys full charter protections for their rights.  The other is black or Arab, possibly Muslim, and their protection under the charter has become optional.

This is not acceptable.

The return of Abousfian Abdelrazik is a part of a process that started with Mahar Arar’s horrible ordeal.  Now Mr Abdelrazik is back in Canada, but the law and policy that put a fully vested Canadian citizen into exile have not changed.

Canadians believe we are in a free and liberal country that is the envy of the world.  In reality, we have citizens being forbidden to return to their home for six years, and this screams of Soviet dictatorship.

The elements of institutional racism are clear.  A convicted white female criminal in Mexico gets flown home on a government jet, but a black muslim in Sudan sleeps in a weight room for a year.

There needs to be one standard for citizenship, and it needs to be the highest standard, and it needs to be applied at all times to all citizens without reservation or hesitation.

Omar Kahdr remains in a cell in Cuba.  As someone who commited a crime when he was 15, it is almost impossible under Canadian law that he would still be in jail even had he been found guilty.  It has been seven years.

I am not saying whether he is guilty or innocent. I am saying that under our laws, he has rights to a speedy trial, independent council, access to the evidence.  He has had none of these.

Omar Kahdr needs to come home.  Charter rights are not negotiable, there can be no second class citizens.   We should still be appalled.