Liberals side with criminals over victims
They stood, one by one, and used their parliamentary privilege to vote against justice for Tori Stafford.
On Wednesday my Conservative colleagues and I put forward a motion calling on the Liberal government to return Tori Stafford’s killer back behind bars. Given that Terri-Lynne McClintic was convicted of first-degree murder in the horrific abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford, it stands to reason that she should be in a secure facility rather than a healing lodge where “marked boundaries” are used rather than fences, and where inmates are united with their families, thus resulting in children living on the premise.
This is no place for McClintic. We’re talking about a young woman who partnered with her boyfriend to commit one of the most heinous crimes imaginable.
Tori was eight years old when she was greeted by McClintic and invited to look at a puppy in the car. Tori was forced into the vehicle, driven to a remote location, repeatedly raped, tortured and murdered. Her body was put into a garbage bag and left in the woods, only to be found three months later.
McClintic was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years without parole. During her time in prison she has repeatedly engaged in violent behaviour toward others and recently bragged about stomping on the face of a fellow inmate.
Canadians are outraged and they have every right to be. During the course of our debate in the House of Commons, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale defended the decision to move McClintic to a healing lodge, calling it the best way “to rectify her >bad practices >in the past.”
Why is the minister calling the murder of an eight-year-old girl “bad practices”? We’re talking about pre-meditated murder.
When given the opportunity to do the right thing, Justin Trudeau and his caucus chose to side with the killer instead of the family of the victim. Every Liberal MP in the House followed Trudeau’s lead and voted to keep McClintic in a fenceless healing lodge living alongside children.
But this isn’t the only instance where the Liberals have chosen to side with the perpetrator over the victim. Canadians are led by a government that continually chooses to defend criminals at the expense of those who have suffered unimaginable loss and pain.
In September 2015 Chris Garnier brutally assaulted and murdered Catherine Campbell, dumping her body under a Nova Scotia bridge. He was convicted of second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body.
This summer, it came to light that Garnier is collecting veterans benefits to pay for a private psychologist who is tasked with treating the PTSD he developed while murdering Ms. Campbell. Though Garnier’s father served in the military, Garnier himself never has and is beyond the age of dependence.
On Sept. 25, Conservatives put forward a motion calling on the Minister of Veterans Affairs to revoke the benefits that have been extended to Chris Garnier. Every single member of the government voted against our motion.
While the prime minister is telling veterans they are “asking for more than we are able to give right now,” he is happy to extend their benefits to a man who has never served in uniform and who brutally assaulted and killed a female police officer.
Conservatives believe the safety of Canadians should be the number-one priority of any government. The rights of victims must always come first.
When defending their decisions in cases like these, the Liberals continue to spout rhetoric of forgiveness and compassion. But it isn’t compassionate to favour criminals and ignore their victims.
While the Liberals are worried about defending Christopher Garnier and TerriLynne McClintic, where is their compassion for Catherine Campbell’s family? Where is their compassion for Tori Stafford’s parents?
Rachael Harder is the Conservative MP for Lethbridge. Her column appears monthly in the Lethbridge Herald