Woodstock councillor demands action on McClintic transfer
A Woodstock councillor plans to introduce a motion at city council voicing the community’s disgust over the transfer of Terri-Lynne McClintic to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan.
And if Woodstock council approves the resolution next week, it will be circulated to other municipalities in Ontario and Canada.
“I’m sure there isn’t one person in our community that wants to recall the tragedy that took place in April 2009 and especially to a lovely innocent little eight-year-old girl. The constant pain that her loved ones endure every day deserves support from us,” Sandra Talbot said.
After reading a statement from Bill Renton, the lead investigator on the case and current Woodstock police chief, Talbot said she realized how much the pain from the tragic abduction and murder still lingers.
“Tori became our community’s daughter,” Renton wrote in his statement. “The nature and extent of the crime against her touched everyone involved. We share in the hopes, fears and frustrations of our fellow residents at times like this.”
Talbot’s anger boiled over after a motion to reverse McClintic’s transfer was defeated by a vote of 200 to 82 in the House of Commons. Talbot said she was particularly incensed when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to the Conservatives, who introduced the motion, as “ambulance chasers.”
“It pushed me over the edge,” Talbot said. “I’ve made the decision to bring forward a motion to support that Terri-Lynne McClintic be returned to a regular facility and not a privileged program that she is now currently experiencing.”
Eight-year-old Tori was raped, beaten and murdered on April 8, 2009, after being abducted in Woodstock while walking home from school. She’d been lured by McClintic, with the promise of seeing a puppy, into the car of her boyfriend Michael Rafferty. Her body, abandoned in garbage bags, was found three months after she went missing in a rural area near Mount Forest.
McClintic, sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years after pleading guilty in 2010, was initially housed at the maximum-security Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener. She was transferred to that facility’s medium-security wing in 2014 after her reclassification by Correction Services Canada.
In 2017, McClintic was moved to the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge for Aboriginal Women in southern Saskatchewan.
First reported last month by Postmedia News, the move angered Tori’s father Rodney Stafford and sparked debate at Queen’s Park and the House of Commons.
Talbot’s hope is that Woodstock council will support the motion at its Oct. 18 meeting and then share it with other municipalities in Ontario and across Canada.
She is also asking for the community to mount an email and letter campaign to convince Trudeau that justice is the only thing being sought for Tori and her family.
“There’s not a lot we can do to assist or to repair what has been done. Because it happened here, I think our community has to take a stand and stand up and protest this horrible act that’s occurred. At least to give some peace to the family and to the community,” Talbot said.