Opinion: Canadians, Stand Up For The Children

https://www.facebook.com/groups/JusticeForToriProtestForChange/?ref=group_header

Canadian political parties’ actions to protect and support victims and families of violent crimes is alarming. The protection of our vulnerable children, the elderly and the disabled must take priority in the Canadian justice system.

Canada is failing to protect the vulnerable. We need legislation brought forward that Life Means Life, and that those who victimize and murder the vulnerable be automatically labeled dangerous offenders.

The national uproar of the McClintic transfer to a healing lodge was a pivotal point in the long road for justice for victims and their families.

Trudeau and his government along with the NDP and Greens voted against the left labeled “ambulance chaser” Conservative motion to move McClintic back to prison. That was before the SNC-Lavalin scandal broke, along with the firing of Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. Lloyd Longfield’s reasoning on SNC-Lavalin was just a “normal course of business”. His reasoning for voting against the McClintic transfer was that the government does not interfere in the justice system. Confused yet?

Trudeau and his government along with the NDP and Greens voted against what the left labeled Conservatives “ambulance chasers” during the debate and in media for a Conservative motion to move McClintic back to prison. Reason? They do not get involved with the justice system.

Trudeau and his government had the power to intervene to make sure Tori Stafford’s killer remained behind bars. The Liberal government made the choice not to intervene to send McClintic back to prison. (Again, this was before the SNC-Lavalin scandal broke. They intervene for lobbyists and elites, yet not for vulnerable victims of heinous crimes.) This is appalling at the highest level. A legal expert weighed in on this national uproar.

One year ago, today I shook the hand of our Prime Minister who vowed to better this country and do what was right. Two hours later on this day in 2018, the House voted down the Conservative motion for the removal of Terri-Lynne McClintock from the native healing lodge Ochimaw Ochi in Maple Creek Saskatchewan knowing she did not belong there, nor did the native community of Maple Creek know that there was a child killer in their area. It’s truly disgusting what is hidden behind the scenes and just how many lives are at risk with the decisions being made by Correctional Services Canada. Wait, our whole country is at risk. Don’t believe me, just continue following the news and all the amber alerts. One day it will be someone you know; will it be too late then???

Come stand with us on Parliament Hill and bring a voice to all our lost loved ones on October 16th, 2019. We WILL be the change. Source: Rodney Stafford

Longfield’s negative vote on the Conservative McClintic resonated with Guelph. This became a national issue, much to the chagrin of the Liberal Party and its members. Lloyd Longfield had the opportunity to vote with values and choose not to. He had the opportunity to skip the vote – his leader Trudeau did. No, he was whipped into the voting party line despite the absence of Trudeau. The NDP and the Green’s had the opportunity to stand up for our children and chose not to, all voting in unison with the Liberal Party.

Longfield opposing the Conservative opposition motion to send McClintic back to jail resonated with Guelph.

Longfield blatantly accused the opposition of grandstanding and agreed in context with his leader’s “ambulance chaser” comments, downplaying the motion. His words downplayed the seriousness of this, and completely disregarded the rights of the Tori and the Stafford family. He inferred that motion on budgetary matters was more important than justice for Tori.

Apart from the grandstanding that going onI was hoping to discuss the budget today. I have a speech on the budget. The budget is a very important document before our House. Instead of doing that, we are interrupting our discussions on the budget to get into something that is being considered and will be coming back to the House in due time.”Lloyd Longfield, MP Guelph Ontario Hansard House of Commons Debate – Source 

There is nothing more pressing than justice for a life taken too soon, and so brutally. Tori Stafford’s father and family were put through more pain due to the actions of the Liberal government, which Longfield was explicit in.

Guelph was perhaps the last city Tori visited before being viciously raped and murdered. Voice and data records collected by investigators show Rafferty’s cell phone traveling north through Guelph toward Mt. Forest on April 8. McClintic bought the murder weapon at Home Depot Guelph located on Woodlawn – the day Tori was abducted and killed.

Historically as recorded in official government Hansard records the Conservative Party has been the only protector of the vulnerable and just sentencing. The Liberals, NDP and Green Party miserably fail.

The Conservative Party voted unanimously in favor of Bill C-26 Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, voted against it, along with every Liberal and NDP member in the house.

On February 26, 2014, the Harper Government sponsored by Conservative MP Nova Scotia member Peter MacKay introduced the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act, Bill C-26, to build on the Government’s current efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation and online crime. It is now the law. The Conservative Party voted unanimously in favor of this bill. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, voted against it, along with every Liberal and NDP member in the house.

Bill C-53 Life Means Life Act was introduced by Conservative member Peter MacKay. This bill died on second reading and did not become law. It was an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015. The Liberals, Greens and NDP opposed this bill. 

Bill C-229 the Life Means Life Act was an Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (life sentences) sponsored by Ron Liepert, Conservative as a private member’s bill. Longfield voted against this.

Tougher Penalties Against Child Predators Act sponsored by Bob Nicholson, Conservative MP For Niagara Falls in the Opposition Motion (Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act) was voted down by the Liberals, NDP, and the Greens. Longfield voted against this. Elizabeth May voted against this.

The Conservative Victims Bill of Rights Act under Harper gave victims of crime a stronger voice, putting victims front and center in our justice system. Under Conservative government changes were made to laws regarding people deemed not criminally responsible for violent acts, ensuring that while dangerous offenders with mental illness receive the care they need, we also take care of the safety of the public. This passed unanimously in the House.

The elimination of the Faint Hope Clause under a Conservative government shut the door that allowed killers to apply for early parole.  McClintic convicted killer who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of eight-year-old Tori Stafford could apply for parole a decade earlier than was set down in her sentence due to the Faint Hope Clause which was law at her sentencing. Her family will be retraumatized every time McClintic applies for parole. Rafferty was sentenced after the Faint Hope clause was repealed, yet he was transferred from maximum to medium-security prison without the knowledge of the Stafford family.

Conservatives introduced the dangerous offender designation. When a criminal kills more than one person judges can now impose consecutive sentences and take every lost life into account. Harper introduced legislation to enact a database for sex offenders to track them, and make it harder to leave the country. It is now easier to deport foreign criminals from Canada, and it is more difficult for foreign criminals to enter Canada. including creating mandatory prison sentences for many serious violent offenses, in particular, sex crimes against children.

No justice is served if rehabilitation comes before punishment. The Life Means Life Act would have ensured that the most dangerous murderers would never be free to endanger Canadians or their communities.

Bill C-53 would have aligned Canada’s criminal justice system with those of other parliamentary democracies, like England, Australia, and New Zealand. It would have provided for sentences of life without parole for the most vicious murderers. Offenses such as these are currently subject to a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, with the right to apply for parole after a set period in custody.

Victims should be treated with the respect they deserve and should expect justice for those who have committed crimes against their loved ones.

Canadian values regarding justice must balance the gravity of the offense with the need to protect Canadians and not only ‘considered’ yet mandated by the government in sentencing.

Rafferty was transferred December 2018 to a medium-security prison, despite not meeting the criteria for an eligible transfer. The Stafford family was not informed of this transfer. Rodney, the father of Tori Stafford, was only notified of the McClintic transfer by error. Keeping victims properly informed along the way is imperative for victims’ rights.

Michael Rafferty, Terri-Lynn McClintic and numerous other dangerous, violent criminals should remain in a maximum-security prison where they rightfully belong, for life.

Too many convicted killers are being transferred to medium-security prisons, at times within two years under our present justice system. This allows them to gradually rehabilitate back into society. The National Post published a partial list of notorious Canadian killers released early, were awarded parole or escaped from minimum security or prison leaves. The list includes Craig Munro, Shaun Merrick, Patrick Kelly, and Karla Homolka, among others.

Bill C-53 would have brought an end to this practice, specifically for criminals who prey on society’s most vulnerable, plotting kidnapping or sexual assault that ends in murder. These criminals whose crimes are so horrific that they shock the conscience of the entire community. The freedom of these criminals compromises the freedom of every Canadian community, family and individual.

Just recently Global News reported that Lucas Petrini abducted a 9-year-old Brampton child in 2008 and subjected the child to repeated sexual assaults. Petrini was released in Kingston in November 2018 after only serving a jail term of 10 years with a “long-term supervision order that carried several conditions meant to restrict his movement within society for 10 years.”

A convicted pedophile who repeatedly abused and listed his 7-year-old step-daughter on Craigslist for other pedophiles to abuse was moved from prison to a healing lodge despite Trudeau giving Canadians his assurances that the McClintic fiasco would not happen again under his watch.

A life sentence should be for life, and the offender designated as a dangerous offender when convicted of crimes against vulnerable victims of violent crimes. Corrections Canada must be mandated to carry out the sentencing and held accountable to inform victims and their families on the status of the convicted.

Based on facts, the history of legislation brought forward and voting records the Conservative Party have stood alone in seeking change. The Liberals have a long-standing history of opposing legislative changes to protect victims and their families. The Liberal backing coat-tail parties of the Green’s and NDP don’t work across party lines on these issues if any.

The next government needs to do more. These changes should not be a partisan issue, yet one of national importance based on values.

Freedom of violent offenders in the spirit of rehabilitation shows contempt for the victims and the families of the victims of these heinous crimes. Rehabilitation is a cornerstone of the Canadian justice system, yet when a criminal commits a heinous and violent crime against vulnerable children and adults there is no hope for rehabilitation. Their crimes are so unspeakable that society cannot risk putting them back on our streets.

As the law stands, sometimes we do. As the law stands Canadians are open to the risk that violent criminals are allowed to walk our streets, where we and our neighbors live and work, and on the streets where our children play.

Canadians, stand up for the children.

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A peaceful protest that Life is for Life will be held on October 16th on Parliament Hill. The protest is to push for much-needed changes within Corrections Services Canada policies & procedures, and for changes to legislation for crimes against children and the vulnerable.

Anyone interested in being a part of the day on October 16th may send a message directly to Rodney Stafford at r_v_stafford@hotmail.com.

Donations to help with the cost of the event and ongoing initiatives are welcome. Donations to help with the protest are to go to Justice for Tori c/o Community Safety Partners @ Events@cspontario.org

Details:  Wednesday, October 16th10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parliament Hill, 111 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A4, Canada

Rodney Stafford, January 14 Justice 4 Tori – Protest for Change Facebook page.

“Just a quick scenario to please visualize. Picture a man standing at the edge of a cliff holding a rock in his hand. That man throws the rock into the water in attempts at making some ripples and a little noise. He does this to help relieve some stress, anxieties, and a lot of anger. He does just that and the ripples are visible with very little splash. Now just imagine that same man asking a few million other angry Canadians with various sizes of rocks to come and join him in his efforts at making a wave. If they were to all throw their rocks into the water at the same time, do you not think they may just make a very surprising wave with their efforts?? See where I’m going with this?? This wave should be very large. One you might call a purple tsunami, wouldn’t you say??” (with Petrina Fraser)

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I will be at the rally supporting Victims rights and strengthening their voice. We need to bring back balance re the support given to perps vs. Victims. Where is the “healing lodge” for Victims? The VBR has no teeth and the definition of a Victim is a crime committed in Canada rather than a Canadian victimized. The murder of my husband by terrorists put me in the Victims of crime club. Like many Canadians I had no idea how little support is given to Victims. This is a non partisan issue and should be embraced by all political parties. Thank you for helping to create the much needed awareness of the current situation.

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