Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant‘s recent mock newscast called Gallant Nightly News (GNN) took aim at Omar Khadr‘s $10.5-million settlement with the Liberal government — and Canadian media’s coverage of the controversy.
“Whether it’s the Toronto Star, CBC, Globe and Mail, CTV or even the National Post, editorialists and columnists have been tripping over themselves in a rush to justify Justin’s payout to Khadr,” Gallant said on a “special edition” of GNN on July 13.
The CNN-inspired newscast, which is no longer available on Gallant’s Facebook page, also took aim at Global News. Gallant did not respond to Global News’ request for an interview by the time of publication.
“Global News has provided fair and balanced coverage of Omar Khadr’s case throughout, without distortion or misrepresentation,” said Ron Waksman, Vice-President, Digital & Editorial Standards and Practices for Global News and Corus Radio.
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“Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Ms. Gallant’s fake news video that has since been un-published,” Waksman added.
While the office of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer declined to comment on Gallant’s video, Global News has learned that the party leadership is believed to have played a role in encouraging Gallant to remove the video.
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The Ontario MP for Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke said that news outlets have been “working overtime trying to media-splain why you should zip it and just accept the payout.”
“They brought out fake news story after fake news story,” Gallant claimed.
She added that mainstream media was defending Khadr’s settlement because they want a subsidy from the Liberal government.
“This collusion between the elite-stream media and the Liberals will only increase over the next two years,” she said.
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The Conservative opposition has been critical of the Trudeau government’s decision to provide a settlement to Khadr.
Scheer slammed the payout as “disgusting” just after news broke. He also said he intends to reach out to the widow of the soldier who died in a firefight with Khadr.
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Conservative MP Peter Kent penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal Sunday, titled “A Terrorist’s Big Payday, Courtesy of Trudeau.”
Kent explained how Khadr won a court fight in Canada, was repatriated there, released on bail and then sued the Canadian government for $20 million.
“Mr. Khadr wasn’t satisfied,” he wrote.
“This payout was a cynical subversion of Canadian principles. Mr. Trudeau made Omar Khadr a millionaire, and he didn’t have to,” Kent said in his criticism.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Trudeau has defended the multi-million-dollar settlement as the more cost-effective decision.
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Khadr had sued the Canadian government, following a 2010 ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that Canadian intelligence officials obtained evidence from him under “oppressive circumstances,” such as sleep deprivation, during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay in 2003.
“[We] were on track to losing a court case that was going to cost us $30 to $40 million, and that quite frankly just wasn’t something people would have been happier about either,” the prime minister said while at the Calgary Stampede last week. “So we decided it was the right thing to do.”
— With a file from Global News’ David Akin and The Canadian Press
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