Scheer urges policy change to stop ‘horrific’ offenders like McClintic from going to healing lodges
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to change the rules that allowed a convicted child-killer to be transferred from prison to an Aboriginal healing lodge after serving less than half the time required to become eligible for parole.
In an interview with The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, Scheer said the former Conservative government changed the rules to stop convicted killers Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olson from getting benefits like conjugal visits and pensions and that the Liberals must do the same now.
“What we are calling on the government to do is issue a policy directive where people who’ve been convicted of these types of heinous, horrific crimes are not eligible to be held in a facility like this,” Scheer said.
“This is crystal clear.”
WATCH BELOW: Father of Tori Stafford speaks up against relocation of Terri-Lynne McClintic
McClintic is not eligible for parole until she has served at least 25 years of her sentence; she has currently served less than 10 years.
Stafford’s family revealed last week that McClintic was transferred to an Aboriginal healing lodge in December 2017.
Rodney Stafford, Tori’s father, said he couldn’t understand the decision, saying it called into question “what’s wrong with the justice system.”
While Scheer and fellow Conservatives called repeatedly for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to reverse the transfer, a memo prepared by the Department of Justice and obtained by Global News said the minister did not have the legal authority to intervene directly in the decision.
His authority instead lies in the ability to direct operational policies, strategic goals and priorities for the correctional agency.
Goodale said last week that he had tasked Correctional Service of Canada commissioner Anne Kelly with reviewing the transfer decision as well as whether the policies that allowed McClintic to be moved should be changed.
Scheer wouldn’t say whether he would support legislation from the Liberals to change the rules but said he wants to see McClintic back in prison.
“I would support measures that make sure McClintic is back behind bars,” he said. “They have a wide variety of tools available to them. If they have ideas, I’d love to hear them.”
A motion is set to be put before the House of Commons on Tuesday asking the government to condemn the transfer of McClintic to a healing lodge and send her back to prison.
It is not clear how long the review of McClintic’s transfer, which is currently underway, will take or whether the government plans to introduce legislation as a result.
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