Terri-Lynne McClintic transferred out of healing lodge: Rodney Stafford
OTTAWA – Killer Terri-Lynne McClintic has been transferred out of an Indigenous healing lodge in Saskatchewan and into a prison in Edmonton, according to Tori Stafford’s father.
Rodney Stafford told CTV News that he was informed Thursday morning that McClintic was transferred late Wednesday from the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Saskatchewan to the Edmonton Institution for Women.
Stafford says McClintic will maintain her classification as a medium-security inmate in the Edmonton prison, which has minimum, medium, and maximum security facilities.
According to Correctional Service Canada, "there is a minimum security residential-style apartment unit. There are residential-style small group accommodation houses for minimum and medium-security inmates in an open campus design model."
Prior to her transfer to the lodge, McClintic had been behind bars at the Grand Valley Institution for Women near Kitchener, Ont.
In an interview on CTV News Channel, Stafford said he had been waiting for this call from Correctional Services Canada "for almost two months now."
"She took the life of an innocent child who spent the last three hours of her life scared to death. She deserves to be behind bars," Stafford said.
Reacting to the transfer, Tori’s grandmother Doreen Graichen said McClintic’s transfer to a prison in Edmonton, where she also lives, was a “shock.”
“I wasn’t prepared to hear that,” she told CTV Kitchener. “Why this side of Canada and not back where she came from?”
McClintic is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the kidnapping, rape and killing of eight-year-old Tori Stafford.
The eight-year-old was lured away from her Woodstock, Ont., school in April, 2009, before she was raped and beaten to death with a hammer. McClintic’s then-boyfriend, Michael Rafferty, was found guilty of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in Tori’s death.
"To the family, I acknowledge and recognize their relief… I can understand the incredibly difficult time they went through," Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said, speaking with MPs Thursday afternoon.
"In the criminal justice system we need to insure that we recognize and keep top of our mind public safety, respect for victims and their families… Hopefully there won’t be situations like this in the future," she said.
Her transfer to the healing lodge sparked political controversy and led to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale implementing changes to Canada's policy surrounding female inmates. The Conservatives were highly critical of her transfer and called on Goodale to reverse the decision.
“Justice is finally being served as Tori Stafford's killer is being put back in a prison,” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Thursday. He said this result is due to the pressure his party put on the federal government. “They only made this decision after being forced to,” he said.
Stafford's family, outraged by the initial transfer, came to Parliament Hill to protest the move, saying the issue is about morals, and not politics.
On Wednesday, Goodale issued the revised policy, tightening the qualifications for federal prisoners in medium-security prisons looking to be moved into lower security facilities such as Indigenous healing lodges.
The changes were effective immediately on existing and future cases, putting the decision on whether to transfer certain federal inmates out of prisons and into lodges that are run by Correctional Services Canada into the hands of the Deputy Commissioner for Women.
Asked about McClintic before her transfer was reported Thursday, Goodale cited privacy but said the Commissioner of the Correctional Service was in the process of applying the policy change.
With files from CTV News' Kevin Gallagher