SUPPORT US

In The Media

Sask hostage facing Monday execution deadline

by Jason Warick (feat. Colin Robertson)

Montreal Gazette
April 22, 2016

Two men with Saskatchewan roots are at the centre of a hostage crisis in the Philippines.

One of the four hostages facing Monday’s execution deadline, John Ridsdel, grew up in Yorkton and worked for a period in Regina. Canada’s ambassador to the Philippines, Melfort native Neil Reeder, is seeking his release.

Reeder and other officials are likely working around the clock through formal and informal channels to evaluate all options, said Colin Robertson, a retired Canadian diplomat and former colleague of Reeder.

“He’s a good guy, an experienced hand,” Robertson said of Reeder, who represented Canada in far-flung postings including Costa Rica, Morocco and Brunei before he was named Philippines ambassador in 2013.

“The ultimate concern is the lives of these hostages.”

The four were taken hostage by armed gunmen near a resort several months ago in the southern Philippines, one of the world’s most volatile, dangerous regions. In a video posted online last week, hostage takers vowed to execute one of them on Monday if the ransom of 300 million pesos ($8 million CND) was not paid.

As of Friday evening, there had been no change in their status.

Robertson, a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute and executive fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, said Reeder and the other embassy staff are probably in close contact with their Filipino counterparts. Robertson is not involved in Ridsdel’s case, but outlined the likely scenarios facing everyone involved.

Robertson, who lived for several years near Moosomin and represented Canada in various countries and the United Nations, said the U.S. government and military are likely being consulted as well due to their global reach, particularly with a strong ally such as the Philippines.

The safety of the hostages is paramount, but there are multiple other considerations, Robertson said. How do the affected families feel? Should there be a rescue mission? Should the ransom be paid? How will any actions affect relations between countries? What message will any action send to future kidnappers?

Robertson said Canada has made it clear publicly that it doesn’t pay ransoms. However, there can be distinctions between official statements and what’s happening behind the scenes, he said.

“There may be informal channels,” Robertson said. “It’s a delicate balancing act.”

An online campaign started by a Saskatoon man, Don Kossick, urges the Canadian government to do everything possible to secure the hostages’ release. Reeder did not respond to an email interview request on Friday.

According to reports, the other three hostages are fellow Canadian Robert Hall, Filipino Marites Flor and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
UPCOMING EVENTS


No events are scheduled at this time.


SEARCH
EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

Global Times: BRICS summit displays the potential of a new future

by Editorial Staff (feat. Swaran Singh), WSFA 12, June 24, 2022

Oil's Dive Won't Bring Any Immediate Relief on Inflation

by Alex Longley, Elizabeth low, and Barbara Powell (feat. Amrita Sen), BNNBloomberg, June 24, 2022

China To Tout Its Governance Model At BRICS Summit

by Liam Gibson (feat. Stephen Nagy), The Asean Post, June 23, 2022

Soutien aux victimes d’inconduites sexuelles dans l’armée

by Rude Dejardins (feat. Charlotte Duval-Lantoine), ICI Radio Canada, June 23, 2022

Defence: $4.9 billion for radars against Russian bombs

by Editorial Staff (feat. Rob Huebert), Archynews, June 23, 2022

The Hans Island “Peace” Agreement between Canada, Denmark, and Greenland

by Elin Hofverberg (feat. Natalie Loukavecha), Library of Congress, June 22, 2022

What the future holds for western Canadian oil producers

by Gabriel Friedman (feat. Kevin Birn), Beaumont News, June 22, 2022

At BRICS summit, China sets stage to tout its governance model

by Liam Gibson (feat. Stephen Nagy), Aljazeera, June 22, 2022

Crude oil price: there are no changes to the fundamentals

by Faith Maina (feat. Amrita Sen), Invezz, June 22, 2022

Few details as Liberals promise billions to upgrade North American defences

by Lee Berthiaume (feat. Andrea Charron), National Newswatch, June 20, 2022

Defence Minister Anita Anand to make announcement on continental defence

by Steven Chase (feat. Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 19, 2022

Table pancanadienne des politiques

by Alain Gravel (feat. Jean-Christophe Boucher), ICI Radio Canada, June 18, 2022

Russia Ukraine conflict

by Gloria Macarenko (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Radio One, June 17, 2022

New privacy Bill to introduce rules for personal data, AI use

by Shaye Ganam (feat. Tom Keenan), 680 CHED, June 17, 2022


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email