Rally to voice anger
A rally Saturday in Woodstock will allow people to show support for Tori Stafford’s family as they press for the girl’s killer to be returned to prison.
Organizers of the rally from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ontario Court of Justice are asking residents to wear purple to show unity and support.
The Woodstock rally will be held a day after a rally in Ottawa to protest the transfer of Terri-Lynne McClintic to an aboriginal healing lodge from a medium-security prison.
“This is not just a Woodstock thing, this a Canadian thing,” Coun. Sandra Talbot said. “There are people here who care and want to see justice brought around for Tori.”
First reported in late September by Postmedia News, the transfer of McClintic was condemned by Tori’s family and in the Ontario Legislature and House of Commons, where the Conservatives demanded the transfer be reversed.
Liberal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced the decision was under review,
Woodstock police Chief Bill Renton also denounced the transfer, saying McClintic’s move to a “privileged program” was “unacceptable.
“I feel compelled to speak for our community and for our officers,” said Renton, the lead investigator in Tori’s slaying.
The eight-year-old was raped, beaten and murdered on April 8, 2009, after being abducted in Woodstock while walking home from school. McClintic lured Tori into the car of her boyfriend Michael Rafferty by promising to show her a puppy.
The girl’s body, abandoned in garbage bags, was found in a rural area near Mount Forest three months after she went missing.
Police charged Michael Rafferty and McClintic in May 2009 with first-degree murder.
McClintic pleaded guilty in 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Rafferty was convicted of firstdegree murder by a jury following a 2011 trial at which McClintic testified.
McClintic was transferred to the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge in Saskatchewan eight years into her sentence.
The lodge offers independent living units with living rooms and kitchenettes, as well as Indigenous cultural and spiritual education to inmates.
Rodney Stafford said McClintic is “living it up” in the lodge.
Talbot recently brought forward a resolution to Woodstock city council voicing the community’s disgust over the transfer of McClintic to the healing lodge.
Talbot said she would table the motion at Thursday’s meeting and then share it with other municipalities in Ontario and across Canada if council supports it.
The Ottawa rally was planned in a response to the outpouring of anger over McClintic’s transfer.
I feel compelled to speak for our community and for our officers.” bill renton, woodstock police Chief