Feds reviewing decision to transfer Tori Stafford's killer to healing lodge
Published Wednesday, September 26, 2018 2:42PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 26, 2018 10:05PM EDT
OTTAWA – The federal government will be reviewing the decision to transfer a woman convicted of first-degree murder in the kidnapping, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford from prison, to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan.
Under fire from the federal Conservatives over Terri-Lynne McClintic’s recently reported move to the lodge run by Correctional Service Canada, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced he has asked the Commissioner of Correctional Service to review the decision to make sure it was done in accordance with policy.
Speaking with reporters on his way in to the House of Commons Goodale said that he’s asked the commissioner to undertake a complete review of the facts of the case "to ensure that the law and all of the longstanding polices of the correctional service of Canada have been properly applied."
Goodale said that all of Canada shares the Stafford family's grief over the "horrible, vicious crime that repulsed the whole country."
Though, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and members of his caucus were highly critical of the federal Liberals announcement of the review, calling for the decision to allow McClintic to be transferred to the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, be immediately reversed.
"Canadians aren't looking for a review, they’re looking for action," Scheer said. "When officials get it wrong, the government and the elected representatives have an obligation to make it right."
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the Conservatives of playing politics with the issue, saying that it was under the past Conservative government that McClintic was transferred to a medium-security facility, which is the same level of security as the lodge.
Goodale said he does not have the legal authority to reverse the decision.
Some of the questions got into explicit aspects of the killing and Trudeau asked them to "please do not continue to increase the level of graphic detail read into the official record here."
NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson said the Conservatives' "exploitation" of Stafford’s death was "sickening," to which she received a standing ovation from her NDP colleagues, as well as members on the government bench.
Following question period, Scheer said he was “so disgusted” by Trudeau condemning the Conservative caucus over their questions.
“The prime minister has the authority to reverse this decision and he needs to tell Canadians why he is not doing so,” Scheer said.
Scheer said the lodge is not the right place for McClintic, saying “she deserves to be behind bars.”
Stafford’s family and friends are voicing outrage over McClintic's move and they are planning a rally on Parliament Hill for Nov. 2 to protest it.
Yesterday on CTV’s Power Play, Goodale said corrections officials would have taken into concern public safety when making the decision to move McClintic.
Stafford's killing made headlines across the country after she was lured away from her Woodstock, Ont. school. Her body was eventually found buried in a farm field about 100 kilometres away from where she was taken. She was beaten to death with a hammer.
McClintic pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder, although the full extent of her violence only became public during the murder trial of her co-killer Michael Rafferty in 2011. The jury at that trial heard about her violent fantasies and desire to kill, maim and torture others.
In 2012, McClintic pleaded guilty to violently assaulting another inmate at Grand Valley.
She is not eligible for parole until 2031.
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