Saskatchewan

Dual rallies and petition protest child killer Terri-Lynne McClintic's transfer to healing lodge

Rodney Stafford and his supporters plan to gather at Parliament Hill Friday for a rally in protest of a controversial prison transfer. Meanwhile, his supporters in Maple Creek, Sask., will be holding a parallel event.

Conservative MP sponsors e-petition calling on government to reverse controversial transfer

A group of Maple Creek, Sask., residents protested the transfer of convicted child killer Terri-Lynne McClintic to a nearby Indigenous healing lodge. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC News)

Dual rallies in protest of convicted child murderer Terri-Lynne McClintic's transfer to an Indigenous Healing Lodge on the Nekaneet First Nation are scheduled Friday for Parliament Hill and Maple Creek, Sask.

McClintic is currently serving a life sentence for the 2009 rape and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford.

Tori's father Rodney Stafford and supporters plan to gather at Parliament Hill while other supporters rally in Maple Creek, which is located in southwest Saskatchewan near Nekaneet First Nation.

"What we really want is for people to understand what's going on, to support Rodney Stafford and his rally, and to give people in our community and surrounding areas a place to come and talk," said Penny Steinkey, one of four organizers of the Maple Creek rally, which is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CST on Friday at the Land of Living Skies park.

Tori Stafford was eight-years-old when she was abducted and killed. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

McClintic's transfer to Saskatchewan's Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge sparked heated debate and insults in the House of Commons, with the Conservatives clashing with the federal Liberal government over the move by Correctional Services of Canada.

Conservative MP for Cypress Hills — Grasslands David Anderson is sponsoring an e-petition that calls on the federal government "to exercise its moral, legal and political authority" and reverse the decision to transfer McClintic to the healing lodge.  

The petition has collected about 7,300 signatures so far, and will be open until Feb. 2, after which Anderson plans to present it to the House of Commons.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, right, has ordered the commissioner of Correctional Service Canada to review a decision to send convicted killer Terri-Lynne McClintic, left, to an Indigenous healing lodge. (Canadian Press photos)

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has ordered Correctional Services Canada to review the policies and procedures leading to the transfer. He has said politicians do not control prisoners' security classifications and do not have the legal authority to intervene.

Steinkey said she hopes the rally brings further attention to the e-petition, to draw more signatories who believe, as she does, that an Indigenous healing lodge is not the right place for McClintic.

"She's going to get Aboriginal healing here, but not the psychological help I think she needs," she said.

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