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McClintic back in prison after time in healing lodge, Tori Stafford’s father says

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  • A convicted child killer who became the subject of national outrage when it was learned she’d been transferred to an Indigenous healing lodge is back in prison, the father of her young victim said Thursday.

    Rodney Stafford issued a brief, celebratory Facebook post announcing that Terri-Lynne McClintic, who pleaded guilty in the brutal death of his eight-year-old daughter Tori, was no longer at the Saskatchewan lodge run by Corrections Canada.

    “It’s official!!! Terri-Lynne is back behind bars,” he wrote in the online post.

    Stafford later told a Toronto media outlet that McClintic had been relocated to a prison in Edmonton overnight, noting that Corrections Canada officials told him of the move Thursday morning.

    McClintic became a figure of national infamy after details emerged about Tori’s 2009 slaying.

    The girl from Woodstock, Ont., who was missing for three months before her body was found, had been abducted, repeatedly raped, and ultimately bludgeoned to death with a hammer.

    McClintic, 18 at the time of the killing,  pleaded guilty in 2010 and offered testimony that helped convict her then boyfriend, Michael Rafferty. In separate proceedings, McClintic and Rafferty were both sentenced to life in prison without any chance of parole for 25 years.

    Stafford learned, however, that eight years into her sentence, McClintic was quietly relocated to the healing lodge, a facility touted as a path to rehabilitation for Indigenous offenders. The remote, rural lodge is listed as a medium-security institution for women.

    Stafford, who has emerged as a child safety advocate in the years since his daughter’s death, found himself at the centre of a charged political controversy when word of McClintic’s transfer emerged.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government came under fierce criticism for both the initial transfer and the fact that no move was immediately made to reverse it.

    The government said it would review the transfer decision, and the Conservative opposition repeatedly raised the issue, calling on the Liberals to place McClintic back in prison.

    On Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced more stringent measures governing transfers to healing lodges, adding that the new approach would be applied in both past and future cases.

    Trudeau said on Thursday that the new rules will increase accountability.

    “These changes will help ensure guilty parties are held accountable while fostering rehabilitation so we can have fewer repeat offenders, fewer victims, and ultimately safer communities,” he said during Question Period, adding that the government had heard the anguish expressed by Tori’s family.

    In an interview with Toronto television station CP24, Stafford gave Ottawa some credit for sending McClintic back to a traditional prison.

    “I see the reaction from the federal government as being a positive one because the steps have been made to put her back to where she had to go and where she belongs,” he said.

    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, however, said that the government was doing little more than bowing to public pressure.

    “The Liberals have finally backed down and taken action,” Scheer said during a policy announcement in Brampton, Ont. “But we can never forget that they only made this decision after being forced to.”

    The new rules announced by Goodale specify that prisoners won’t be eligible for transfers to healing lodges without secured perimeters until they’re into the “preparation for release” phases of their sentences. In McClintic’s case, she would not be eligible for such a move until she nears the end of the 25 years she must serve before being eligible for parole.

    The Correctional Service of Canada will also have to consider inmates’ behaviour and how close they are to being eligible for unescorted temporary absences from prison before transferring them.

    In addition, the deputy commissioner for women will be involved in decisions to ensure national standards are applied consistently and relevant factors are considered.

    Goodale said healing lodges still have a role to play in the correctional system but acknowledged a need for more public education in how prisoner decisions get made.

    “These are decisions that are not taken lightly or capriciously,” he said. “They are based on evidence and sound principles, and there needs to be a higher level of understanding of that.”

    In addition, there must be more meaningful and useful communication with victims given the anguish they have suffered, he said.

    “They need to know that their perspective is being properly respected.”

    Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press


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    MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

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  • OTTAWA — Members of Parliament are continuing their marathon voting session as opposition parties protest the Trudeau government’s efforts to shut down any further investigation into the SNC-Lavalin affair.

    The Liberal majority shot down a Conservative motion calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to let former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould testify more fully about her allegation that she was improperly pressured to drop a criminal prosecution of the Montreal-based engineering giant.

    The motion was defeated by a vote of 161-134.

    That set the stage for a Conservative-sponsored filibuster Wednesday night, requiring 257 separate votes on items in the government’s spending estimates.

    Former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott is adding more fuel to the fire in an interview with Maclean’s magazine.

    She says in the interview that there’s “much more to the story that should be told.”

    Philpott resigned from cabinet over the government’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin controversy earlier this month.

    Since any vote involving government spending is automatically considered a confidence vote, Liberals were required to be out in force to avoid potential defeat of the government.

    The voting could theoretically last 36 hours, but the Conservatives have only to keep it going until just after 10 a.m. today to scrub the remainder of the parliamentary day.

     

    The Canadian Press


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    ‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

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  • Kevin Matechuk says he will never, never forgive the semi driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

    Matechuk’s 19-year-old son Layne of Colonsay, Sask., is still coping with a brain injury he suffered in the collision last April. The young man’s recovery is expected to be a long one.

    The trucker who blew through a stop sign and caused the crash, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary, is to be sentenced in Melfort, Sask., on Friday.

    “I know he purposely didn’t go out to kill all those people but he did … run that stop sign,” Matechuk said recently from the family’s temporary home in Saskatoon.

    “It was his fault.”

    Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured when the transport truck drove into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus at a rural Saskatchewan intersection.

    Court heard that Sidhu went by four signs warning about the upcoming intersection before he came up to an oversized stop sign with a flashing light. His lawyer told court Sidhu was an inexperienced driver distracted by a flapping tarp on the back of his load.

    Sidhu, 30, pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court. The Crown has asked that he serve 10 years in prison. The defence did not propose a specific sentence but said other cases point to between 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years.

    Family members submitted 90 victim impact statements during an emotional sentencing hearing in January. Some said they forgive Sidhu, while others said they are too angry.

    “It’s funny how the wide range of different people feel and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” said Matechuk.

    Melanie Smith of Leduc, Alta., whose 20-year-old son Tyler was also injured, said she’ll be glad to have the court case over with.

    “We’re content about how it turned out with him pleading guilty to all 29 counts and the emotion he showed,” she said.

    “We don’t really have any thoughts either way on what he ends up getting sentenced. The problem is you either have to forgive or you somehow have to get past whose fault it was. It was his fault. And as a family we’re content.”

    Former NHL player Chris Joseph of St. Albert, Alta., lost his 20-year-old son Jaxon in the crash.

    He said forgiveness won’t bring his son back. And he’s going to be disappointed in whatever sentence Sidhu gets.

    “I don’t know if there’s any number that would make me happy,” he said.

    “He did the crime. He needs to do the time. And we would like the legal system to show that it doesn’t matter that you feel bad. It’s nice that you feel bad. It doesn’t matter though.”

    Michelle Straschnitzki’s 19-year-old son, Ryan, from Airdrie, Alta., was paralyzed from the chest down. She said she has days when she would like to think forgiveness is possible.

    But her anger overwhelms those feelings.

    “There are days that it’s no — no matter what. Nothing’s going to be OK again and 16 people are gone and the lives of 13 children are still in flux.”

    She wants the judge to give Sidhu a harsh sentence.

    “It has to be more than a slap on the wrist. It has to send a message,” she said.

    “Unfortunately it won’t really change anything, but it has to make a difference and change people’s minds.”

    — Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

    Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press



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    march, 2019

    fri8mar - 30aprmar 85:30 pmapr 30Real Estate Dinner Theatre5:30 pm - (april 30) 10:00 pm

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