Child killer back in jail

A convicted child killer who became the subject of national outrage when it was learned she'd been transferred to an Indigenous healing lodge is back in prison, the father of her young victim said Thursday.

Rodney Stafford issued a brief, celebratory Facebook post announcing that Terri-Lynne McClintic was no longer at the Saskatchewan lodge. He later told a Toronto media outlet that McClintic, who pleaded guilty in the brutal death of his eight-year-old daughter, had been relocated to a prison in Edmonton overnight.

"It's official!!! Terri-Lynne is back behind bars," he wrote in the online post.

McClintic became a figure of national infamy after details emerged about Tori Stafford's 2009 slaying.

The girl from Woodstock, Ont., who was missing for three months before her body was found, had been abducted, repeatedly raped, and ultimately bludgeoned to death with a hammer.

McClintic, 18 at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty in 2010 and offered testimony that helped convict her then boyfriend, Michael Rafferty.

In separate proceedings, McClintic and Rafferty were both sentenced to life in prison without any chance of parole for 25 years.

Rodney Stafford learned, however, that eight years into that sentence, McClintic was quietly relocated to the healing lodge, a facility run by Corrections Canada and touted as a path to rehabilitation for Indigenous offenders. The remote, rural lodge is listed as a medium-security institution for women.

Stafford, who has emerged as a child safety advocate in the years since his daughter's death, found himself at the centre of a charged political controversy when word of McClintic's transfer emerged.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government came under fierce criticism for both the initial transfer and the fact that no move was immediately made to reverse it.

The government said it would review the transfer decision, and the Conservative opposition repeatedly raised the issue, calling on the Liberals to place McClintic back in prison.

On Wednesday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced more stringent measures governing transfers to healing lodges, adding that the new approach would be applied in both past and future cases.

In an interview with Toronto television station CP24, Stafford gave Ottawa some credit for sending McClintic back to a traditional prison.

"I see the reaction from the federal government as being a positive one because the steps have been made to put her back to where she had to go and where she belongs," he said.

During a protest on Parliament Hill earlier this month, Stafford said he didn't want McClintic's transfer to become a political football but believed the issue had to become political in order to effect change.

The new rules announced by Goodale specify that prisoners won't be eligible for transfers to healing lodges without secured perimeters until they're into the "preparation for release" phases of their sentences. In McClintic's case, she would not be eligible for such a move until she nears the end of her 25-year sentence.

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