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Results: 1 - 15 of 43
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
View James Bezan Profile
2019-06-17 12:21 [p.29166]
Mr. Speaker, here we go again. It is over 100 times now that the government has used closure or has limited the amount of debate we can have any time on these bills.
This stands in stark contrast to what the minister used to say when he was in the third party. The member for Winnipeg North used to stand and holler every time there was a closure motion or anything to limit the debate we were having on any motions before the House.
We only had four minutes on Friday to start the debate on the amendments that were proposed by the Senate. I still have to go back and talk to my UCCO members who work at Stony Mountain Institution in my riding to ensure that the health and safety provisions that are in the bill are going to be properly enforced and how that is going to occur. They still have those questions.
However, because the Liberals are stifling debate here in the House, I will not have the time to go and consult, and discuss this with UCCO members and with penitentiary staff on how this will impact our riding and how it is going to impact the care and incarceration of those who are currently serving sentences.
There are still so many questions out there. The hypocrisy that we are seeing from the Liberals continues to amaze all of us, because when they were in the third party, they used to scream and holler at the top of their lungs every time the previous government tried to do this.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-05-16 14:19 [p.27945]
Mr. Speaker, China has now formally arrested Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. We do not know where these two men are being held, and they are at risk of being put to death by the Chinese because of these trumped-up allegations.
Clearly, the Prime Minister's approach to China is not working. When will he stop acting like a coward, pick up the phone and do something about this, because the very lives of Canadians—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2018-12-10 14:54 [p.24619]
Mr. Speaker, news is breaking right now that Michael Rafferty, the other cold-blooded killer of Tori Stafford, was moved to a facility with a lower level of security back in March. That was after Terri-Lynne McClintic was moved to a healing lodge, a decision which the Liberals had to reverse because of widespread outrage from Canadians.
Can the minister tell us if this is true? Is Michael Rafferty behind bars where he belongs or is he in a cushy healing lodge somewhere in the woods?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2018-10-23 10:12 [p.22706]
Mr. Speaker, this is indicative of what the Liberals have been doing overall on this bill, which is very disturbing to see. This is a bill that would have a direct effect on the men and women who put their lives on the line every day dealing with the most dangerous, horrific criminals in Canada.
Corrections officers do not like this bill. The government has not talked with them about this bill. It has not talked or consulted with them on the very dangerous and very real implications for the men and women who serve as corrections officers.
This bill would be taking away the ability of corrections officers to put individuals in solitary confinement for the protection of other inmates, the protection of themselves or the protection of guards.
We are again seeing the Liberals focusing on protecting criminals, focusing on worrying about the comfort of criminals who are serving their time in federal penitentiaries, and shutting down any discussion or debate. It is shameful to see.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
View James Bezan Profile
2018-10-22 13:31 [p.22658]
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member and my friend from Durham.
This is an important motion, one I am glad my colleagues have brought forward. We are talking about ISIS's crimes against humanity. We are commemorating the work and efforts by Nadia Murad, and even her sentiment is captured in the motion, about what happened to the ISIS women and girls who were used as sex slaves. The member for Calgary Nose Hill described in detail the horrific existence, injuries and impacts that rape, as a weapon, had on culture and society, particularly how it traumatized the lives of these women and girls. We need to act upon that.
It is one thing to have a Prime Minister call himself a feminist, but we have to take action. If we want to stop genocide, we need to have plan on how to do that. It is one thing to talk about the responsibility to protect. It is another thing to call an atrocity a genocide, such as ISIS committed against the people in the Syrian and Iraqi regions. We need to ensure that we stand with them and that those who committed these atrocities and crimes against humanity are held accountable.
I have had the privilege over the last number of years to work with the Yazidi community in Canada. It was shocking to hear the stories of the women and girls who were sex slaves, They have come to Canada for refuge, asylum and our protection and are glad to be here, even though they still have family members in refugee camps in the region who cannot get out. We need to be of more help to them on that basis.
It is disturbing when I talk to them and hear the stories they are experiencing right in Canada. A lady in London, Ontario, a Yazidi refugee, got on a bus with her captor, who was an ISIS terrorist. He had bought her, used her and then sold her again like she was property, like livestock. He is here under the so-called Syrian refugee program. He lied to get into Canada. We cannot allow this individual and his family to stay here. First, he is an ISIS terrorist. Second, he committed atrocities as part of the ISIS genocide. Third, he entered Canada on false pretenses.
Another lady has had the same experience in Winnipeg. An ISIS terrorist, who is on the streets, was recognized by one of his Yazidi sex slaves. She too has talked to the police. She has not talked about it in the media, like the other case in London, but she saw him face to face in Canada.
It is disturbing that these people have snuck into Canada under the Syrian refugee program and have lied about who they are. They were definitely part of ISIS. Then there are Canadians who have returned after the war started going sideways. They had joined ISIS and fought in Iraq and Syria. We know of some who are being held today by the Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Muhammad Ali has been on Global TV, talking about how he wants to come back to Canada. His wife lived for sometime in Vancouver. He would like to come to Canada with their children, but they are in detention. He admits to being part of ISIS and to committing atrocities, while fighting against Canada and our allies in the region, yet we are offering him consular services. Those crimes were committed in Iraq and Syria. When Canadians travel abroad and commit crimes abroad, they should be charged, prosecuted and brought to justice in those jurisdictions, just as we witnessed this past week when a young girl, who wrote graffiti on a historic site in Thailand, was arrested for it.
If they do the crime there, they will do the time there. Many Canadians are incarcerated around the world in various prisons, because they committed crimes in those countries. However, we still offer them consular services, but we do not need to make a case for them to return to Canada, like consular services did in talking to Muhammad Ali on how to get back to Canada and how to get his passport in order.
Consular services also spoke to Jihadi Jack, Jack Letts, a British citizen. He became famous in 2014-15, promoting ISIS and even talking about using the heads of his victims as soccer balls and the atrocities he committed. He has a father of Canadian citizenship and wants to be returned to Canada, even though he has never lived here. Consular services are helping him with a passport application. It just does not make any sense at all.
I am proud of the record we had under the Conservative government. We committed our Canadian Armed Forces to help our allies fight against ISIS. We went over there. We put our CF-18s in the fight, bombing ISIS positions in Iraq and even in Syria. We put over 200 trainers on the ground to help the Kurdish peshmerga become better equipped. We gave them equipment plus training so they were more effective soldiers. We helped save lives and protected those vulnerable communities.
It was great that we were able to do that. We provided our surveillance aircraft, two CP-140 Auroras. We were not just providing targeting and looking for intelligence on the ground on where ISIS fighters were located, but we were there supporting our allies. We also had a Polaris refueller aircraft to help with the air attack.
Our air task force there has done great work. How did the Liberals treat the air task force? One of the very first things the Liberals did when they came to power was to pull our CF-18s out of the fight. Shame on the Liberals. Kurdish peshmerga, the Kurdish regional government, said that those planes helped save lives and helped ensure that not just Canadian troops on the ground were safe, but that the Kurdish peshmerga fighters were safe as well. We were destroying ISIS targets, ensuring it could not continue on in committing its atrocities. We completely eliminated its offensive capabilities.
Then the Liberal government took out one of our surveillance aircraft, cutting that by 50%. It brought one of our Auroras home. Adding insult to injury, the Liberals took away the danger pay for our air task force that was set up in Kuwait. Some of our guys on the ground there saw their pay cut between $1,500 and $1,800 a month, even though they were still in theatre. Even though they were part of Operation Impact, they were treated differently.
After Conservatives embarrassed the government, the Minister of National Defence had to climb down on that and reinstate that danger pay, bringing in a new policy. It was our Conservative government that stood up for our troops, for the people who were fighting ISIS.
We had many successes through that whole process, including having boots on the ground. We had snipers in theatre. We had special operations forces working. We trained over 1,100 Kurdish peshmerga.
The Liberals changed the mission. We have not had a briefing on the mission in over a year. We are going to receive one, finally, next month, but it is well long overdue. For a government that says that it is transparent, we should see more about this rather than waiting until the last minute, before the mission has expires in March 2019 and has to be renewed.
What it comes down is that we have people like Abu Huzaifa who is in Canada. He is a Canadian, he went abroad and enlisted with ISIS. He is 23 years old. We have not heard anything from the government about him being arrested. Abu Huzaifa was part of ISIS. He admitted to it on a New York Times podcast, called Caliphate, put out a few months ago. All of this is on the public record. He admitted to it in a CBC interview as well.
We do not see anything from the government about arresting these individuals. The Liberals always like to talk about how the Conservatives never arrested any of them either. We have to remember that the fight was going on. It was a hot conflict until the end of 2016 when everybody started coming home. We know that Abu Huzaifa did not even come back until the winter of 2016.
We expect better from the government. We are here to ensure we are acting on terrorism. A Conservative government will do just that to ensure Canadians are safe, that we act on protecting people who are vulnerable to genocide.
View Robert Sopuck Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, I commend my friend from Edmonton West for his speech. I can truthfully say that I listen to every word of all of his speeches as they are so well done and well researched. He cites facts and figures. He is a very credible member of Parliament.
I am going to take a bit of a different approach here. I would like to ask my friend from Edmonton West what it is about the Liberal DNA that always blames the victims and never assigns personal responsibilities to the criminals themselves. To the Liberals, people are criminals because it is society's fault, it is how they were brought up or it is who they are. They never assign personal responsibility. We Conservatives believe in personal responsibility and accountability for one's actions. Can my friend from Edmonton West explain this Liberal mindset?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2018-10-04 10:05 [p.22193]
Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. I have two very brief points to make regarding the use of language by the Prime Minister yesterday in the House following question period.
First, I want to add to the point of order regarding the statement by the Prime Minister when he referred to the member for Milton as an ambulance chaser, which is described in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary as a derogatory term meaning, “a person who strives to profit from the misfortune of others”. Page 619 of Bosc and Gagnon reads:
Remarks which question a Member's integrity, honesty or character are not in order. A Member will be requested to withdraw offensive remarks, allegations, or accusations of impropriety directed towards another Member.
The Prime Minister's statement of yesterday clearly breaches the rules of order and decorum. I trust that you will request he withdraw those offensive remarks as soon as possible.
It would appear that the member for Milton was not the Prime Minister's only target yesterday. My second point will address the rules regarding reflections on the chair. Pages 620 and 621 of Bosc and Gagnon state:
It is unacceptable to question the integrity and impartiality of a Presiding Officer and, if such comments are made, the Speaker may interrupt the Member and request that the remarks be withdrawn or immediately give the floor to another Member. Only by means of a substantive motion, for which 48 hours' written notice has been given, may the actions of the Chair be challenged, criticized and debated. Reflections on the character or actions of the Speaker or other Presiding Officers have been ruled to be breaches of privilege.
As you know, I raised a point of order regarding a question by my deputy House leader. In response to the Prime Minister's behaviour toward you, the member for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie asked the Prime Minister, “Are you in charge of the Speaker?” The Prime Minister replied, “Yes, I am,” suggesting that you are not impartial.
Now, a number of members witnessed that. According to our practices, this is clearly unacceptable, and the Prime Minister is obligated to withdraw those remarks. If the Prime Minister refuses to withdraw those remarks, I reserve the right to return to the House with a question of privilege.
I expect the Prime Minister to have a bit more respect for this House, its members and for you, Mr. Speaker. The Prime Minister must take responsibility for his actions and return to the House as soon as possible to withdraw the insults to the member for Milton and his slur against the integrity of you, the Speaker.
This is not the first time the Prime Minister has shown such disrespect for this institution and those who serve it. I do not have time to necessarily read into the record his complete list, but you will recall when the Prime Minister once called the member for Thornhill a piece of s-h-i-t. That was the word, Mr. Speaker. He then had to apologize.
His contemptuous attitude was also on display when he lost his temper on the floor of the House, ending in another member being injured. Again, he had to stand and apologize for that.
The Prime Minister is insulting members, and again, he is doing this and bringing into question the impartiality of the chair. It is an important matter, and I look forward to your ruling.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2018-10-04 14:22 [p.22229]
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister had the chance to respond to Canadians, do the right thing, and move Tori Stafford's killer back behind bars. He had a chance to speak out against this terrible decision and act to reverse it. Instead, he did what he always does when he is challenged. He acted like a bully and called us names, but in doing so, he rejected the calls from Canadians, and indeed from Tori's family, to correct this injustice. When will the Prime Minister stop acting like a bully, stop calling names, do his job and reverse this terrible decision?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2018-10-04 14:23 [p.22229]
Mr. Speaker, Tori's dad could not have been clearer. He wants the Prime Minister to reverse this decision. We all want action.
The Prime Minister could immediately implement a broad policy, which would make sure that no child killer is placed in a healing lodge. That would include McClintic and anyone like her. It would be a broad policy. It would be very simple. It would satisfy the concerns the government has.
Again, will the government do its job, will it act and will it reverse this decision with a broad policy?
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2018-10-02 10:18 [p.22077]
moved:
That, given Terri-Lynne McClintic was convicted of first-degree murder in the horrific abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford, and was moved from a secure facility to a healing lodge without fences and where the government has confirmed the presence of children, the House condemn this decision and call upon the government to exercise its moral, legal and political authority to ensure this decision is reversed and cannot happen again in other cases.
She said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time today with the member for Parry Sound—Muskoka.
April 8, 2009, began like any other school day for Tori Stafford, a grade 3 student at Oliver Stephens Public School. However, that is where this sweet little eight-year-old girl's normal, peaceful day ended. Tori was lured, kidnapped and later brutally murdered.
Tori's killers, Michael Rafferty and Terri-Lynne McClintic, were each found guilty of first-degree murder. In Canada, that means an automatic life sentence, 25 years without a chance of parole. It would seem that maybe justice was somewhat served for the Staffords and their family. Sadly, it is not what has turned out to be the case.
In recent days, we have learned that instead of serving her sentence behind bars, the prisoner, McClintic, has been transferred to a Saskatchewan healing lodge, a government-run lodge surrounded by trees, wildlife and children. There is no visible security. There is not even a fence. It is a no-brainer for all of us to know that is no place for a child killer. It is certainly no place for someone who committed the despicable acts Tori faced in her last hours.
The details of those acts have been recounted to the House. I want to take a moment and comment on the reaction of members of the government and the NDP when some of those details were recounted, because it goes to the point that not only we as Conservatives are making but that Canadians want us to face. The Prime Minister's reaction to hearing about what happened to Tori was to tell members of Parliament to essentially shut up and stop talking. Other members became visibly angry and upset and talked about decorum in the House. As if what happened to Tori, and whether or not it offends us, has anything to do with decorum. It is not about our feelings, our sensitivities being offended or about how we feel in this House.
What we need to talk about is justice for Tori's family. What happened to Tori was despicable and unbearable to hear, but this place is exactly where we need to face a harsh but needed reality. There are consequences of the decisions we make here in this place. Pretending these gruesome events did not happen and demanding that others shut up to avoid hearing them is the behaviour that led us exactly to where we are right now. It is that sort of behaviour that leads the public safety minister to describe the horrible acts committed against Tori Stafford as, “bad practices”. It is that sort of behaviour that desensitizes some into thinking a child murderer, with no possibility of legally seeing the outside world for at least 15 more years, should not be behind bars but should be a guest at a government lodge. It is that sort of behaviour that leads the Liberals to brush this shocking transfer off by organizing some sort of generic bureaucratic review. That is the behaviour that should be offensive to all of us, and what we need to address today.
It is said the worst fate a parent can endure is to have to bury his or her own child. To have to do so in the circumstances faced by the Stafford family is just unimaginable. It is why we can only imagine, and need to think long and hard about what the transfer of this prisoner has done to the Stafford family, as well as the effect it has had on them. It has revictimized the Stafford family. In fact, this past weekend, Tori's dad, Rodney Stafford, published an open letter to the Prime Minister. His words are utterly heart-wrenching. Mr. Stafford wrote:
I plead to you as a father & a proud Canadian citizen who, even after this traumatic experience, tries to live a normal tax paying life. I really have to question our Federal Government as to why convicted child murderers, such as Terri Lynne McClintic, deserve more rights than their victims & law abiding Canadians? I may not have grown up living a perfect life, but I grew up to learn that I love the country I live in and I know right from wrong!
The Prime Minister has tried to duck and weave on this issue this last week, pleading that this was all about politics. Rodney Stafford hit the nail on the head. He asked the Prime Minister, “Is this enough to remember that not all issues are political? Some are moral!”
That is what this issue is. Tori's dad is right, there is a moral imperative for action. There is a moral imperative for members of Parliament from all parties to stand up and demand better.
This is a situation that we need to reverse and one that we need to prevent from ever happening again. It is the sort of situation where immediate action is required to maintain Canadians' confidence in our justice system.
I had the honour to serve for more than two years as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of public safety. Our previous government showed how a government can take action. When things happen in situations, the government does have the power to reverse them. When tough cases were exposed when we were in government, we cried out for change. When it was uncovered that serial killer Clifford Olson was receiving OAS, our Conservative government passed legislation to stop him and other prisoners. There is the key. It was not just something directed specifically at Clifford Olson. It was a policy change that stopped him from getting OAS, but it also stopped other prisoners from getting OAS. It has been done before and it can be done again. We also passed legislation preventing prisoners from using their time behind bars to justify an extension of employment insurance benefits. Again, it was not changing policy directed at one individual inmate, but we saw that something had happened when we were government that needed to be reversed in our correctional system and so we immediately implemented a policy so that the specific person would not receive that benefit and nor would other prisoners in that situation. Therefore, the situation that confronts us today is one that the Liberal government and the Prime Minister possess the legal and the political authority to fix.
We are likely to hear about a legal opinion that mysteriously surfaced last week, claiming the Liberals just cannot do anything. I am sure the government lawyer who wrote that document is an upstanding person, but we do have to remember that at the end of the day, government lawyers serve their clients: their political masters in the justice minister's office and the Prime Minister's Office. Since when do government members abdicate their responsibility just because a lawyer told them that maybe they would have a bit of push-back on it? Especially with the current government, they sure seem to love to go to bat for every criminal there is, whether it is Omar Khadr, Chris Garnier or now McClintic. The Liberals sure do not seem to worry about fighting those fights. Therefore, why in the world would the Liberals not say, “We will take the chance that somebody might challenge us, but we see this wrong is done and so we will correct it.” It is that simple. It is not difficult.
There are a few provisions in the law that I want to highlight. The Corrections and Conditional Release Act does give authority to the government. We have already talked about subsection 6(1) of the act, which says that the commissioner of corrections works, “under the direction of the Minister”. Paragraph 96(d) of the act actually enables the Governor in Council, the cabinet, to make regulations governing the process of transferring offenders from one institution to another. Meanwhile, paragraph 96(z.6) allows the cabinet to adopt regulations concerning the security classification of inmates.
Therefore, there can be a policy crafted. It could be as simple as saying that someone serving a sentence for the murder of a child must not be transferred to any institution without perimeter security or where children are permitted to circulate. It is very simple. That could very easily be done. This is all we are asking the government to do.
We have not seen any outrage from the Liberals and we have not seen any action. In an interview last week, Tori's dad said, “...Terri-Lynne had been moved to Saskatchewan to this healing lodge and I was kind of blown away.... Every time things seem to start to get a bit better...something like this comes along, where you just lose faith.” Let us give the Stafford family some faith by reversing this injustice. Let us give Canadians confidence in their justice system. Let us send a strong and clear message with the vote on this motion. Let us stand up, every single one of us, and vote to ensure that anyone who takes the life of an innocent child like Tori Stafford faces the sentence that Canadians expect him or her to, which is behind bars.
We have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of real people. We know their names. We know the situation they face. We know the horrific acts that happened. We very seldom have the opportunity to affect individual people's lives like we do today. Therefore, I implore this House and I implore the government members to show their displeasure, show their outrage, but, more important, act and implement policy to reverse this decision and make sure something like this never happens again.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2018-10-02 10:29 [p.22079]
Madam Speaker, I would first say that the member is actually the first Liberal member of Parliament who has said that there is any outrage on that side of the House with respect to this decision.
We have been asking the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Safety, and we have not heard once that, yes, this is a terrible decision. No. What we have heard from the Liberals is that they are going to form a committee to look at the policy to see if all the policies were followed. Frankly, the outrage is too little, too late.
With respect to the second question, I would be more than happy to lay out a very simple plan for the government on how it could very easily reverse this decision. I will tell members how Tori's dad and family even knew what was happening. It is because, in 2013-14, we passed a law for victims to be informed of what is happening to some of these prisoners. Therefore, I will tell the member this. If we had found out about this while we were in government, as we did with other bad decisions, we would have been the government, taken the decision, changed it and made that policy a good policy. That is what we are asking the current government to do. If it cannot do it, it should get out of the way and let somebody—
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2018-10-02 10:32 [p.22080]
Madam Speaker, I do not know if that member heard my speech. I just gave a lengthy speech where I laid out what I believe and what we believe should happen. There was nothing that should have offended him. I am sorry, but he is not the victim here. I am not sure what message he is referring to.
This is the place where we have to have tough conversations. We had a difficult conversation one day in this House where we talked about what happened to Tori. It had to be heard. We had a minister of public safety who called what happened Tori “bad practices”. We had to do it. We have now been asking the government to act on it. We do not even know if the NDP will support it.
That member stood up and somehow he is maybe the victim in all of this because we had to talk about something that is difficult. It is shameful of the New Democrats. I do not know what they have been thinking these last few weeks. However, they are going to have to answer to their constituents on how they vote and how they have responded to this situation.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
View James Bezan Profile
2018-10-02 10:45 [p.22081]
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Parry Sound—Muskoka for his concern for the family of Tori Stafford and for reflecting the view of Canadians on how wrong this is.
I would ask my colleague to talk about why the Liberals always seem to side with the convict. They hug the thug and lack the compassion and common sense to stand up for the victims in these types of situations. They just aggravate the situation even more, rather than doing the right thing.
View Larry Maguire Profile
CPC (MB)
View Larry Maguire Profile
2018-10-02 13:42 [p.22104]
Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to speak to our Conservative opposition day motion today on this heinous topic.
“Justice”, that very word can be interpreted in many ways. It can bring comfort to those who have been wronged but made right. To others it can instill a sense of comfort knowing that regardless of one's social standing or position, the law is blind to such things and all are equal before the courts. For some, that word means the beginning of a new chapter. For others, it means the end. In most cases that word should mean closure, as justice has been delivered. Not only must justice be done, it must be seen to be done.
It is hard to find a universally accepted description of the word but most Canadians know justice when they see it.
What we have learned these past few weeks is disturbing. I have struggled to digest what we have been told. It has shaken the nation and many are in disbelief. I have tried to find the words that could somehow explain what happened, and I have failed. No words could ever alleviate the sadness or repair the damage that has been done to the family of Tori Stafford.
As a Canadian, I share that sense of frustration with my fellow citizens that our system has failed. As a parliamentarian, I am ashamed that this could ever have happened. As a father, I pray that justice will prevail and this nightmare will end.
Like most Canadians sitting at home watching this debate, I too ask: how did this happen? How could our system allow this to occur? How could someone who confessed, was sentenced to life and was nowhere close to even remotely being considered for parole be sent to a healing lodge? I have a million reasons for why this was a terrible mistake and I cannot think of one justification for why this ever could have happened.
Just yesterday at Queen's Park, all political parties united to condemn this action. They put aside their partisanship. They stood shoulder to shoulder as Canadians, as parents and as elected representatives to call on the federal government to reverse this decision. This is exactly what we should be doing right here and right now.
To the family of Tori, I am sorry. I regret that they must go through this again. Our system has failed them. There is no excuse or reasoning that could ever begin to rationalize this decision.
We as parliamentarians must act. Canadians have entrusted in us the power to provide leadership and today is that day when leadership is needed. The government must exercise its moral, legal and political authority to ensure this decision is reversed. It is also clear that we need to ensure that it never happens again.
A system that allows this sort of transfer to occur under these circumstances erodes the very trust our judicial system is dependent upon. There is no justice when a convicted child murderer, who has just served a fraction of her time, is sent to a healing lodge. A convicted child murderer who, by the way, carried out violent behaviour while in jail, deserves no special treatment or sympathy. A convicted child murderer, who said herself, “Spending the next few decades of life in prison is nothing compared to what Tori was robbed of.”
Today, we must stand up for Tori, as sadly, she cannot speak for herself. Let us ensure that this act of evil deserves the punishment that it so rightfully deserves. The convicted murderer knows herself that she deserves to be in prison. She knew the day she was sentenced that she would be sent away for a very long time for the atrocious crime she committed and for the life that she stole.
Let there be no ambiguity in this debate. This individual deserves no favours from our penal system. There should be no sense of normalcy in her life while she serves her time. Her crime was not an act of rage or carelessness. It was a calculated, orchestrated and deliberate act of evil. There is no argument that could ever convince me that this woman should be in a fenceless facility.
It is abundantly evident that if a policy needs to be changed, then let us do it. If we need to stay in this chamber all day and all night to find a solution, members will find a willing partner in our caucus. There is no doubt that there is a problem, for there is no explanation for this transfer. She should never be in the same vicinity as children. She is taking a spot of someone who perhaps could be best served in a healing lodge.
My heart aches for Tori's family. No family should ever have to go through this. There are millions of Canadians who have the family in their thoughts rights now. Many constituents have contacted me in the last week to express their horror that a penal system could have allowed this to happen. I want the family to know that they are not alone in this struggle and are most certainly not wrong in wanting this decision to be reversed.
Just this morning, the lead investigator who helped discover the truth about Tori denounced the action of transferring this murderer to a healing lodge. Bill Renton, who oversaw the OPP investigation, released a statement in which he said:
I echo the concerns of the nation...I believe the correctional system needs to be predicated on rehabilitation for those who have committed crimes and proven themselves worthy...We question McClintic’s move to the healing centre at such an early stage of her just and proper guilty verdict of first degree murder and sentence of Life Imprisonment with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
These are not the comments of someone who just has an opinion. This is the concern of a man who investigated this heinous crime. There is no element of this case that Mr. Renton does not know. It would be in all of our interests to listen carefully to what he had to say.
I truly believe that it is within all of us to put aside our differences and to do what is right. I call upon my colleagues to join us in our motion. We are sent here to make difficult decisions, as pointed out by my colleague for Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan a few moments ago. We cannot shirk our collective responsibilities that are expected of us.
Sections 6 and 96 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act give the Minister of Public Safety broad authority to issue directives on conditions of confinement. All it would take for this individual who committed these horrific crimes and to be back behind bars is the will of the minister. He could ensure that the criteria for those being sent to a healing lodge could never be extended to someone who committed these crimes and who is literally years away from ever being considered for parole.
In Canada, we have a system of responsible government where the bureaucracy is accountable to Canadians through a cabinet minister. Asking the department to change its policies should not be considered a dramatic step. It is exactly why we elect members of Parliament in the first place. This woman has already been tried and convicted. There are no questions regarding the verdict of the court. Therefore, it is not unreasonable for us as elected representatives to demand that Correctional Service Canada's policies be changed.
If we are allowing a child murderer who is serving a life sentence to be sent to a facility that has family residential units and where children may be present, we need to change this. If we have a system that allows a convicted person with this history to have their own unit with a kitchenette, an eating area and a living-room, we need to stop this. Let us give justice to Tori.
I implore my colleagues to stand united. Let this be the day that we ensure that this sort of situation never happens again.
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