Transfer of Tori Stafford’s killer to aboriginal healing lodge will be reviewed; victim’s father slams transfer
There will be a review of why one of the people convicted in the murder of Tori Stafford was moved to an aboriginal healing lodge.
Meanwhile, the victim’s father says the decision to allow the transfer is “not right” and is pleading with people to make their anger known.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale made the announcement prior to question period on Wednesday, saying that while he does not have the authority to reverse the decision to move Terri-Lynne McClintic from a prison to an aboriginal healing lodge in Saskatchewan, the review will look into whether doing so is consistent with the facts of the case.
“I have earlier today asked the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada to undertake a complete review of the facts of this case to ensure that the law and all of the longstanding policies of the Correctional Service of Canada have been properly applied,” he said.
“I don’t have the ability to reverse the decision.”
WATCH BELOW: PM Justin Trudeau slammed about transfer of Tori Stafford’s killer to healing lodge
McClintic, while formerly housed in a maximum-security prison in Ontario, was classified as a medium-security prisoner in 2014, he said.
She pleaded guilty to first-degree murder of the eight-year-old Stafford in 2010.
That carries a life sentence with no eligibility of parole for 25 years.
News of her transfer prompted outrage on Tuesday when her family revealed the transfer.
Rodney Stafford, Tori’s father, spoke with Global News Radio on Wednesday and said everyone in the family was upset when they heard the news.
“Less than 10 years into her sentence, she’s already in a healing lodge out in Saskatchewan,” he said, “where she is living better than probably about a third of Canadians right now. It’s very upsetting.’
“Anybody who takes a vulnerable person’s life … they shouldn’t have the opportunity to be in a freaking healing lodge less than 10 years into a 25-year sentence.”
WATCH BELOW: McClintic wraps up testimony at Rafferty trial
Conservative justice critic Tony Clement said Wednesday morning that the case risks eroding Canadians’ trust in the justice system.
Stafford said he agrees with that statement.
“I do agree with that, totally,” he said.
“It’s making people question what’s wrong with the justice system. It’s not right.”
He pleaded with Canadians to make their anger known and come out to a protest planned for Nov. 2 on Parliament Hill.
“Please everybody, come together on this. It’s not just about my family.”
It is not clear whether McClintic is aboriginal or what the criteria are for such a transfer.
Global News has requested more information from Correctional Services Canada.
WATCH BELOW: New charges against McClintic
However, the chief of the Nekaneet First Nation on whose land the healing lodge is located said none of the elders from the community have been consulted on transfers for the past six years.
If they were, he suggested McClintic might not have been allowed to come there.
“If our elders were still apart of the process maybe Ms. McClintic wouldn’t be at the Healing Lodge,” wrote Chief Alvin Francis.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also attacked the government for not intervening in the transfer during question period.
However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused the opposition of politicizing the matter.
He also bristled at opposition members reading out the details of what happened to the eight-year-old, despite them being public records already widely publicized from the court proceedings of her killers.