Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tories Defend Focus on Transfer of Offender to Healing Lodge

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Tories Defend Focus on Transfer of Offender to Healing Lodge

Article excerpt

Tories defend focus on prison transfer

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OTTAWA - Anyone who has been paying attention to the Conservative opposition knows what issue is at the fore -- the controversial transfer of convicted murderer Terri-Lynne McClintic from a medium-security prison to an Indigenous healing lodge.

The Tories have been relentless in the House of Commons, raising the brutal details of Tori Stafford's killing daily, and calling on the Liberals to reverse her controversial transfer.

The Liberals have denounced the barrage as disgraceful, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling the Conservatives "ambulance-chasing politicians" in a testy exchange Wednesday aimed at Conservative MP Lisa Raitt, a lawyer by trade.

But Andrew Scheer's Conservatives are unapologetic, saying the failure to keep McClintic locked behind bars resonates with Canadians. In addition to peppering the government with questions, the Opposition forced the Liberals to vote on a motion Wednesday calling for the government to condemn McClintic's transfer and reverse it.

The motion was ultimately voted down, but Conservative strategists say raising the Stafford case in the House time after time is part of a broader strategy to emphasize injustices.

McClintic was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of the first-degree murder of Victoria (Tori) Stafford. McClintic's boyfriend, Michael Rafferty, repeatedly raped her before the eight-year-old was ultimately killed with a claw hammer to the head.

McClintic has been transferred to Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Saskatchewan, which is managed by the Correctional Service of Canada and is listed as a medium-security institution for women.

However, the Conservatives say healing lodges are meant for transition, not for people who should be locked away.

Conservative MP Candice Bergen, who sponsored the motion, said the Liberal attitude toward criminals is becoming evident. …

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