A quick recap, if I might:
For nearly a year - ever since the government granted Mr. Abdelrazik "temporary safe haven" in the Canadian embassy in Khartoum - it has repeatedly changed the requirements he must meet before it would give him an emergency travel document to replace the passport seized while he was imprisoned in Sudan.
At first the government said he needed only a confirmed flight reservation. When one was obtained last September, it refused to issue the travel document. Then, in December, it promised in writing an emergency passport if Mr. Abdelrazik had a fully paid ticket. When one was purchased in defiance of government regulations that make it illegal to provide help to anyone on a UN blacklist, Mr. Cannon said Mr. Abdelrazik must get himself off the list, despite the government's previously failed efforts to have him delisted. Washington apparently vetoed the government's delisting request.
At this point, Abdelrazik's request for an emergency passport was denied by Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon because Cannon publicly accuses Abdelrazik of being a threat to national security. Which means that we're fairly safe in suggesting that the Dishonourable Lawrence Cannon is incredibly, hilariously fucked.
As you can see, from the beginning, the Stephen Harper Government's position was that poor Abdelrazik simply had to jump through the right hoops, and he hadn't done the jumping yet. And every time he handled one hoop, another one was stuck in front of him. Until, at the very end, Cannon clearly got tired of having to continually make shit up and move goalposts, and fell back on, "He can't come back cuz I said so!" End of discussion.
Well, actually, not end of discussion because, in denying Abdelrazik's emergency passport based on national security, Cannon has totally painted himself into a corner.
I think it's clear that this story has reached critical mass, and it's not going away. And, regardless of how hard Canada's conservatives keep violating Abdelrazik's rights under the Charter, he's eventually going to be allowed to return to Canada. And that's when the fun will start, because Cannon is then going to have to explain how someone who he so clearly labelled as a danger to national security was finally allowed to come home.
Put another way, Cannon is going to have to explain how someone who was so blatantly a danger to Canadians suddenly stopped being such a blatant danger, when absolutely nothing changed in the meantime. Cannon simply can't keep this up. The outrage is growing, and it's only a matter of time. And when that time comes, it's going to be monumentally entertaining to hear Cannon justify a total about-face from his current position.
Abdelrazik will eventually get his emergency passport. And chances are Cannon is the one who's going to have to authorize it. And when that happens, Minister Cannon is going to have some serious 'splainin' to do.
SCANDAL? WHAT SCANDAL? One Hugh Whiteley makes an interesting suggestion:
What scandal is Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon trying to hide? Based on the apparently unsupported assertion that Abousfian Abdelrazik poses a security threat so severe that he can't return home, Mr. Cannon has created the penalty of perpetual exile and imposed it on Mr. Abdelrazik. Are we expected not to notice due process being thrown out the window? Mr. Cannon's action is so preposterous that it must be a smokescreen. But for what?
I think Whiteley is on to something here. Cannon's actions are so illogical and indefensible, and his behaviour so outrageous and out of proportion in stripping a Canadian citizen of his basic rights under the Charter, that there has to be something going on behind the scenes. This thing just reeks of a cover-up of some kind.
IN OTHER NEWS, Canada's free speech warrior and human rights champion Ezra Levant is kind of busy with his book. You know ... the one where he writes about freedom. And democracy. And basic rights under Canadian law. And a bunch of other stuff he knows fuck-all about.