While the return of Omar Khadr to Canada Saturday has sparked controversy across the country, a Cornwall, P.E.I., man says he wants to start a fund to help the repatriated 26-year-old when he gets out of prison.
Retired United Church minister, Eric Fullerton, 85, said he intends to start collecting money for Khadr.
Khadr was 15 when he was sent to the U.S.-run detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, nearly a decade ago, accused of killing an American soldier with a grenade in Afghanistan.
Khadr is now in Millhaven Institution, a maximum-security prison in eastern Ontario. Under Canadian law, he is eligible for parole next year.
"We need to do something to help that young man to let him know that all of society isn't like what he has gone through," said Fullerton.
"I'm going to contribute at least $500 toward the fund and I'm going to be after other people because I can't ask other people to do something that I can't do myself."
He said he hopes any money raised will help Khadr further his education.
Fullerton said he knows his proposal will stir controversy and he doesn't know what kind of support he'll get.
Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has called Khadr a terrorist and al-Qaeda supporter.
Charlottetown MP Sean Casey weighed in Monday.
"It's the over-the-top rhetoric that we've come to expect from this minister. It's very unfortunate. I hope it doesn't affect the parole board's deliberations," said Casey.
Fullerton phoned Casey to tell him about his plan to raise funds for Khadr. He intends to talk to church leaders in the Charlottetown area in coming days.