September 27, 2018 5:05 pm
Updated: September 27, 2018 8:13 pm

Corrections official stands by decision to transfer McClintic to healing lodge

WATCH ABOVE: There are serious questions swirling about why Terri-Lynne McClintic, the woman who raped and murdered Ontario girl Tori Stafford, was moved to an Aboriginal healing lodge in Saskatchewan. Abigail Bimman looks at what a healing lodge is and who's allowed to go there.

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The newly-appointed commissioner of Correctional Service Canada says that while she is undertaking a review of the transfer of a convicted child-killer from prison to an Aboriginal healing lodge, she is “comfortable” with the decision.

That comes even as a family member of Terri-Lynne McClintic tell Global News she is making up her claim to be Aboriginal.

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Anne Kelly, commissioner of Correctional Service Canada (CSC), told MPs on Thursday that she is following instructions given to her by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to look into whether moving McClintic to a healing lodge, less than 10 years into a life sentence for murdering an eight-year-old, was in accordance with the laws — and whether the current laws are right.

READ MORE: ‘There is no expectation of proof’ for offenders seeking transfer to Aboriginal healing lodges

She also said she does not have any worries right now that the decision was wrong.

WATCH: Trudeau slammed about transfer of Tori Stafford’s killer to healing lodge

“CSC will do an in-depth review of this case,” Kelly told reporters after her appearance.

“At this point, I am comfortable with the decision, but if through the review any adjustments need to be made, I will ensure they are implemented.”

McClintic was sentenced to life in prison and is not eligible for parole until she has served 25 years.

She was sentenced in 2010 after confessing to the 2009 murder of Tori Stafford.

McClintic later testified against her boyfriend, Michael Rafferty, at his trial for first-degree murder in 2012.

Also in 2012, McClintic was convicted of assaulting a fellow inmate while in the Grand Valley Institution for Women.

READ MORE: What to know about healing lodges, where Tori Stafford’s killer is serving her sentence

The Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Saskatchewan is run by Correctional Service Canada.

The facility has no fences, and offenders housed there have rooms with kitchenettes and common areas, where they learn how to do things like laundry.

They were established to address the disproportionate number of Aboriginal people in the prison system and help them prepare to reintegrate with society by reconnecting them with traditional customs and teaching life skills.

However, offenders looking to transfer to a healing lodge do not have to prove they are Aboriginal.

Instead, they can self-identify.

WATCH: Child murderer Terri Lynne McClintic moved from prison to healing lodge

And while an official told Global News on Wednesday that McClintic is Aboriginal, there is no confirmation of whether she self-identified as such in order to get the transfer.

A family member of McClintic’s spoke with Global News on condition of anonymity and said her mother was not Aboriginal, did not know who her father was, and that McClintic “is very smart and manipulative.”

“This is made up,” the individual said. “It’s all crap.”

A second source also told Global News that McClintic self-identified as Aboriginal.

Goodale said on Thursday he does not have the authority to intervene in the case.

— With files from Abigail Bimman

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