The frustration over Terri-Lynne McClintic’s transfer to a healing lodge doesn’t seem to be dying down, especially not in Saskatchewan.
“A child killer does not belong out there, she has not served the sentence she was handed,” said Carrie, a woman who called in to Gormley from the Maple Creek area.
The Okimaw Ohci healing lodge is near Maple Creek, on the Neekaneet First Nation.
“The healing lodge is not a place for her, it is a place for women to go who are at a point in their sentence where they want to heal themselves and get back into the community,” she added, noting that many people in the town are upset the government has allowed this to happen.
McClintic was convicted in 2010 in the kidnapping and rape of eight-year-old Tori Stafford and handed a life sentence, with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.
Recently, it came out that McClintic was transferred to a healing lodge in the Cypress Hills southwest Saskatchewan several months ago.
Speaking to reporters in Regina Thursday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said quickly after this was brought to his attention, he ordered a review of the decision. He said he has also ordered a review of the policies which led to the decision.
“To ensure that they are appropriate, so make sure that Canadians are safe and that justice is done,” said Goodale.
He’s hoping for that report to be on his desk soon.
Part of the reported programming at the healing lodge is to have the inmates go out into the community. For locals who are concerned about McClintic being there, Goodale said public safety is their first priority.
“The Correctional Service of Canada will take all the steps that are necessary to make sure that, in fact, the general public is kept safe.”
Some have asked why Goodale can’t just move McClintic himself, Goodale said he doesn’t have the authority.
“It is very clear under the law that that power does not exist in the hands of an individual cabinet minister.”
Many comments made by community residents on social media express further outrage, describing McClintic as a sick individual and calling on the government to reverse the decision and send her back to a more secure facility. A band member from the Nekaneet First Nation has also questioned the decision to move McClintic to their community, citing a concern for the safety of children.