The debate on whether 8-year-old Tori Stafford's killer, Terri-Lynne McClintic should be able to be moved to a healing lodge rather than continuing to stay in prison has been a heated one, to say the least. Ever since the news broke in September, thousands of Canadians have debated the decision to give McClintic a better place to spend the rest of her sentence.
The conversation finally reached the House of Commons this week. MPs were directed to vote to denounce McClintic's move to the healing lodge, which was introduced by the Conservatives. The reaction in parliament was definitely dramatic.
For starters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to vote before everyone else in order to conceal his vote and then left directly after, meaning there is no record of his response on file.
On top of that, he publicly stated that he could not denounce the special treatment that McClintic was being rewarded.
Many aren't necessarily surprised at Trudeau's actions, considering he has been saying the same line to the media since the debate began:
“The offender in question was moved from maximum security to medium security in 2014 under the Conservatives. She remains in medium security today.”
That statement has many Canadians riled up. After doing some research on the healing lodge in question - the Grand Valley Institution for Women - many people realized how vastly different it is from the medium-security prison that McClintic is in now.
Tori Stafford's father, Rodney Stafford, ended up going as far as to write Justin Trudeau an open letter, asking for his help in reversing the decision:
“Could you kneel before your child’s headstone, knowing they spent the last 3 hrs of their life begging & pleading for Mommy or Daddy to come save them, alone and scared? Can you sleep soundly knowing there is more injustice unfolding before you?”
Unfortunately, when Stafford's father arrived in Ottawa for the vote yesterday, Trudeau would not see him.
It's clear that our government is just as divided on the subject as most of the public. On one end, the Conservatives are claiming healing lodges are meant for transitional periods, not as permanent residences for people who "should be locked away." On the other end, the Liberals are calling Conservatives "ambulance-chasing politicians."
Either way, as a result of yesterday's vote, McClintic will be able to stay in the lodge she has been moved to. It's clear by looking at any social media site that most Canadians are against this decision. But, it seems the discussion is now turning into something much larger. It's now become a conversation about how political parties react to situations like this, in general.