Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague, the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.
I listened to this debate all day long. This is an emotional debate. There are no two ways about it. This is very similar to the debate we had last week with respect to Chris Garnier, a convicted murderer behind bars, receiving PTSD treatment through Veterans Affairs, essentially stepping in line ahead of our veterans and first responders who are being told to get back in the line, or they are having to wait.
This debate is about a convicted child killer, Terri-Lynne McClintic, who heinously murdered Tori Stafford, an eight-year-old, and whether she should be serving the rest of her time in a healing lodge. This is not about the effectiveness of healing lodges or whether we feel they should be part of our corrections system. It is about doing what is right.
Our colleagues across the way will stand up and say their hearts and prayers go out to the families of the victims, whether it was Catherine Campbell last week or Tori Stafford this week. Then they go on and say it was our government, and Stephen Harper was bad and evil and did this and transferred all this stuff. This is about action. That is what I said last week. It is not about “could have, would have, should have” and hypothetical questions. This is about doing what is right.
The Liberals say we are politicizing this. Catherine Campbell's family does not think we are politicizing this. They have written to us and talked to us. They think the minister and the Prime Minister are shamefully politicizing this. Rodney Stafford also does not think we are politicizing this. He wrote a letter through social media to plead with the Prime Minister to reverse this decision.
Who else does not think we are politicizing this? It is the families of Cynthia Maas, Natasha Montgomery, Jill Stuchenko or 15-year-old Loren Leslie, who was the final victim in my riding of Cody Legebokoff, Canada's youngest serial murderer.
The Bjornson family does not think that. Their son was beheaded earlier on, and they do not think we are politicizing this. They are saying that finally someone is providing a voice for victims. Where has that voice of victims been? Someone has to stand up and share their voice, and that is what we are doing.
We are asking for the Minister of Public Safety to make a decision. We know it is within his purview to do that. In section 96 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act he has the authority to step in and review this and act. That is what we are asking for, action, not the blame game. He has the ability to do this.
Imagine waking up to when we call murder a bad practice. Imagine waking up and hearing about a convicted murderer in jail who never served our country, yet he is stepping to the front of the line ahead of those who signed up to serve our community and our country. We know that is the case now.
Imagine a time when we cannot even call someone who crosses our border illegally an “illegal border crosser”. We cannot even say that word “illegal”. They call it “irregular”. How far have we fallen that we are so worried about hurting someone's feelings that we cannot call a murderer a “murderer”, and we cannot call the act they did a “murder”. It is a bad practice, and those who are crossing our border illegally are irregular crossers. We are now erring on the side of criminals.
How far we have fallen. Imagine waking up one day and finding out that the government has paid a convicted terrorist $10.5 million. After all he is a Canadian, a convicted terrorist. That is what we are dealing with here. Canadians are outraged. They have seen this time and again from those across the way, erring on the side of just bad people.
I had an opportunity to speak at length with Catherine Campbell's family and it is disgusted. I had an opportunity to speak with Eileen Bjornson earlier today, the mother of Fribjon Bjornson, who time and again during the whole process felt victimized.
Listening to this about Terri-Lynne McClintic just re-victimizes the families of these victims. It is not about again going back to the healing lodges. The Liberals want to throw it out that it was the Conservative government that transferred Terri-Lynne McClintic to a medium security. It was maximum/medium security and it had bars.
An executive director of a healing lodge has just come out in defence of healing lodges. Healing lodges really are not on trial here. However, the director described the healing lodge this way, “They aren't on lockdown, have keys to their rooms, and the lodge feels more like a university dorm than a jail.” Tori Stafford will never get to experience a university dorm.
Healing lodges are for people who have served 20 years in prison and need to come out slowly. We need to teach them how to ride a bus, how to live in the community and how to get along with other people. Terri-Lynne McClintic still has 13 and a half years left. She was convicted of society's most heinous crime and she has laughed about it the whole way. She has shown violent tendencies while being institutionalized.
This is not about whether healing lodges work or do not work. They are not the ones that are on trial. What is on trial is this lack of action and the Liberal government's way of blaming everybody. If the Minister of Public Safety stood before the House and thanked us for bringing this to his attention so he could immediately review it and take action, the argument would be out.
However, guess what a full review would mean? It will be months, if not another year, before this happens, and all the while Terri-Lynne McClintic is not behind bars.
The government is seeing very quickly the public outrage on this. As it does with everything, it wants to assign blame and point fingers here and there. It is shocking, and I have said this all along.
The Liberals have been in government for three years now. We see time and again that whenever there is a problem they blame those who were the government before them. Whenever it is something good, they will pat themselves on the back. Last week, shamefully, our colleagues across the way stood and defended Chris Garnier, who is in jail. He is a convicted murderer receiving treatment through Veterans Affairs. The Liberals patted themselves on the back and then gave three sentences about their hearts, thoughts and prayers went out to the victims' families. If their thoughts and prayers truly went out to the victims' families, they would be pressuring the minister to act, not just spewing out garbage. They know better. I like to think there are good people on all sides of the House.
Canadians are speaking out and they are saying loudly that this is wrong.
I want to leave my colleagues with one thing, which is this.
Rodney Stafford wrote to the Prime Minister, and I will not read the whole thing. The question he asked the Prime Minister was this. ”I would like to ask you, with no ill will, one question though if I may. “From father to father...could you kneel before your child's headstone, knowing how they spent the last 3 years of their life?” I will not get into the rest of it. To hear him ask that is heartbreaking.