Maher ArarWelcomeContact Us
Maher Arar
Maher's Story
Legal Team
The Inquiry Today
Have Your Say
Media Coverage
News Releases
Interview Request
Get Involved
Useful Links

State of Inquiry

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Government of Canada wants to prevent a great deal of the information that has been made available to the Commissioner from becoming public.

The Commission is faced with a few difficult choices. It can fight the Government, either in court or politically, to liberate the information from the restrictions that are being placed on it in the name of national security. This will be an expensive and frustrating process, which will play into the hands of those who basically want the inquiry to go away - because it will take so much time that events will pass Maher Arar by.

A second approach would be for the Commission to display deep courage and to publish the facts, in violation of the claims of the security statutes. The government would not dare charge the commission and its staff. Or maybe it would be dumb enough to try to do so - to cart off to a criminal court the head and staff of an inquiry for doing precisely what they were commissioned to do.

The Commission could adopt another course: rather than engage in a legal war with the same government that created it, the Commission could simply declare that what is important is that the people of Canada, as much as possible, understand Arar's story and learn from it, so that it doesn't happen again.

While your website says "we all have a right to the truth", the Pueblo scholar Simon Ortiz pointed out - there are not truths, only stories.

So if the government wants to prevent the public from having access to certain facts, I suggest the commission should still have the courage to provide the people with a story.

Publish not "the" story, but "a" story. Use two fonts. In "normal" font, the facts about what happened, as the Commission has heard and learned. In italics, the rest of the story, as written by a selection of Canada's best writers of fiction. These people will have had access
to all the facts that the government will allow to be published, and none of the facts the government doesn't want to be known. And then they can fill in the blanks with italics. And the commission can say up front: the government has concluded that the people of Canada should not be provided with the truth, after all - so the Commission will at least deliver a good story, and who knows, probably a story that contains a fair dose of the truth.

People will read that.

In a whole lot of ways, it would be better than the kind of truth the government and the courts would permit, after long arguments and a lot of wasted time.

(Comments from Paul Williams)