McClintic transferred back to prison from healing lodge, Stafford's father says
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, November 8, 2018 11:16AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 8, 2018 7:48PM EST
The woman convicted in the brutal death of Tori Stafford has been moved back to a prison after her controversial transfer to an Indigenous healing lodge in December.
Stafford’s father, Rodney, said he received a call from Correctional Services Canada this morning informing him that Terri-Lynne McClintic was transferred to an Edmonton prison on Wednesday night.
It’s a call Stafford said he’s been waiting to receive for two months.
He made the news public in a Facebook post this morning, saying his daughter’s killer is “back behind bars.”
"I'm ecstatic," Rodney Stafford told CP24 by phone on Thursday. "It’s a great feeling to know that justice is going to be served."
McClintic, 28, pleaded guilty in 2010 for her role in the kidnapping, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford.
The young girl was lured from her Woodstock, Ont. school in 2009 before she was raped and murdered with a hammer.
McClintic’s former boyfriend, Michael Rafferty, was convicted in Tori Stafford’s death in 2012. He is also serving a life sentence.
McClintic had been serving her life sentence at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener when, in December, less than 10 years into her life sentence, she was transferred to a healing lodge.
Stafford’s family learned of the convict’s transfer to Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge near Maple Creek, Sask. in September when Rodney called Correctional Services Canada for an unrelated matter.
“She was applying for day passes and during the conversation about day passes, I was informed that her next day pass would take place in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and I kind of giggled to myself, saying ‘Why? She’s in Kitchener,’” Stafford said.
“The woman from Correctional Services brought up her bio and said she was transferred in December of last year… This is almost 10 months later.”
The move sparked outrage across the country, from the public and politicians alike, and spurred a full review by the federal government of the policies surrounding prison transfers.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced changes to Canada's policy surrounding female inmates just yesterday.
The changes tighten qualifications for federal prisoners looking to be moved to lower security facilities, and bar prisoners serving long sentences from transfers to healing lodges until they near the “preparation for release” phase.
The new rules will also involve more communication with the victims and their families – something Stafford welcomes.
“We should be able to know every detail of that person’s life,” he told CTV News.
“I no longer have the ability to be a father to Victoria and raise her. This person wiped that right out for me. I should be able to at least know what this offender is doing, how they’re progressing, I should be able to know every detail of this person’s life until they leave that facility.”
The outraged Stafford family organized a protest on Parliament Hill over the transfer, with dozens of supporters attending.
“I cannot even say how much hearts go out to Tori Stafford’s family. We understand and hear their anguish,” Prime Minster Justin Trudeau noted when asked about the case during question period on Thursday.
“That is why the minister of public safety asked Corrections Canada to review the policies and to ensure they are changed going forward.”
Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer and his party were relentlessly critical of the transfer and moved an ultimately-defeated motion last month calling on the government l to immediately overturn the transfer.
Speaking at an unrelated event on Thursday, Scheer said he was glad to see the Liberals take action.
“Justin Trudeau’s Liberals said they could do nothing about it. They spent weeks saying their hands were tied… They claimed there was nothing they could do,” he said.
“Justice has finally been served because of you – thousands and thousands of Canadians who let their voices be heard.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who was also a vocal opponent of the McClintic’s move, praised the decision on Twitter.
"I've said from the very beginning that Tori Stafford's murderers belong in jail for the rest of their lives," the premier wrote.
Stafford, meanwhile, had a piece of advice for other surviving victims of crime:
“Stand up for yourself. You have the right to use your voice,” he said.
“I’m really at a loss for words. I’m so happy. Thank you, Canada.”