This nation has in recent weeks roiled in expressed collective outrage at the change in living accommodation for one Terri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of first degree murder in the death of eight year old Tori Stafford. Terri Lynne-McClintic, was reassigned from a penitentiary to an Aboriginal healing lodge.
National anger was stoked by vacuous rattling of the federal Minister of Public Safety, supplemented by that of the Prime Minister, as they attempted to deflect from the simple fact McClintic, a walking definition of soulless cruelty, should have remained locked in a prison cell devoid of any and all contact with the world outside her steel bar confinement.
That child killer Terri-Lynne McClintic’s treatment stoked raw emotion is neither surprising, nor new. Canada has a track record.
In recent years, Clifford Olson, serial rapist and killer of children in British Columbia was granted leave to torture his victims parents by contacting them directly and in the case of Gary and Sharon Rosenfeldt engage the Rosenfeldt’s in a civil defamation lawsuit. Olson filed charges against Gary and Sharon for having publicly accused Olson of raping and murdering their son. Olson demanded compensation, claiming he had been convicted of murdering 16 year old Daryn and not raping him.
Should Olson’s legal action be treated seriously? The Rosenfeldt’s told me on air their lawyer had suggested they transfer ownership of the family home to their daughter. This to keep a court from potentially awarding the home to Olson as damages.
Paul Bernardo, mass rapist and serial killer of teenagers Kristen French, Leslie Mahaffy and Tammi Homolka, fourteen year old sister of his accomplice/wife Karla, retains the right to weekends in the prison conjugal visits trailer where inmates may spend cohabiting time with accredited partners.
When I called Correctional Service Canada on air for public comment on what a disgusted Kingston prison guard had called to report, a CSC spokesperson replied “Mr. Bernardo has his right to privacy.” End of conversation. He also retains the right to vote and in the community of his last residence, St. Catharines, Ontario. Consider that Bernardo’s vote may well serve to cancel out the vote of either Doug or Donna French, parents of Kristen.
Homolka meanwhile, while imprisoned experienced her own McClintic moment. Her accommodations had been upgraded to life in a four person living unit with private rooms for which she had a key, a full kitchen and privileges to order out for pizza for so-called Girls Night In parties.
While it’s true some changes in law have been accomplished, such as the elimination of the early parole hearing opportunity (Section 745) for first degree murderers, outrageous policies continue to enshrine rights for Canada’s child killers.
Kimberly Thompson was five years old when she was snatched from outside her Calgary home by Harold Smeltzer. Smeltzer raped and murdered Kimberly, disposing of her body in a garbage bag. Later Smeltzer would confess to sexually assaulting up to forty young girls. No charges laid.
Smeltzer would eventually be granted day parole and living opportunity in a halfway house in Regina. Federal policy forbad Regina police from informing the public of Harold Smeltzer’s unsupervised outings within blocks of schools and playgrounds.
When Smeltzer subsequently informed parole board officials he had been sexually attracted to an underage girl while out in public did the board immediately rescind his freedoms? Not on your life, or that of an innocent child. The parole board instead congratulated Smeltzer for revelation, suggesting he was well on the way to a successful reintegration into society. When was that? 2017.
Terri-Lynne McClintic’s transfer to an Aboriginal healing lodge and Tori Stafford’s father’s anguished plea to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reverse the decision will sadly be another in a series of such occurrences in Canada and doomed to repeat. That is, unless we all commit long term, to an uncompromising demand any conviction of the murder of a child be followed by the remainder of a life spent in prison. No condo units. No healing lodge. No conjugal trailer stays. No enshrined privacy rights. No transfer. No parole. No release. Not ever.