Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a year-end news conference in Ottawa on Monday where he was asked about his biggest regret of 2016. He honestly admitted that the brutal killings of two Canadian hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines were “a low point” for him in 2016.
Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, along with a Norwegian man and a Filipino woman, were kidnapped in September 2015 in the southern Samal island by members of the Abu Sayyaf group. The captors demanded a huge ransom to which Trudeau publicly responded that Canada doesn’t pay ransom for hostages. Ridsdel, 68, was beheaded in April 2016, and Hall, 66, was decapitated two months later.
Trudeau believes that Canadians understand the federal government’s stance on the issue as not to provide source of significant funds to violent terrorists who has intent on causing more harm and taking more lives. The victims’ families support Canada’s policy of not paying ransom but they also believe that the federal government must reform its policies regarding Canadians in peril on foreign soil