Rally to voice anger

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS FUNSTON

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

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