-OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale's office confirmed Monday that child killer Michael Rafferty is now incarcerated in a medium-security facility two hours north of Montreal.
Goodale's spokesman Scott Bardsley told HuffPost Canada that La Macaza Institution specializes in "dealing with sex offenders."
Initial news of Rafferty's apparent transfer from a maximum-security facility came from a Facebook post by the father of Tori Stafford. The eight-year-old girl was kidnapped and murdered in 2009 by Rafferty.
Opposition house leader Candice Bergen brought up the development during question period Monday.
News of Rafferty's transfer comes months after his ex-girlfriend and accomplice in Stafford's murder, Terri-Lynne McClintic, became the subject of intense debate in the House of Commons when it was revealed she was transferred from a multi-security prison to an Indigenous healing lodge last year.
Both Rafferty and McClintic are serving life sentences. Rafferty was convicted in 2012 of first-degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm, and kidnapping.
Rodney Stafford, Tori's father, said the new information came to light after he requested and received information on Rafferty's file from the Correctional Service of Canada — and not during a meeting with corrections commissioner Anne Kelly.
He suggested the federal government and the commissioner were not transparent with what they knew about Rafferty's case while attention was drawn on McClintic months earlier.
"This means that all this time over the last three months, Corrections Service Canada and our Canadian government have been hiding the fact that not one, but both people responsible for stealing the life of Victoria have been working their way to luxury," wrote Stafford.
He called the situation "another dodged question" and urged for an "immediate overhaul" of Correctional Service Canada. "I am so ashamed to be Canadian right now."
Privacy Act concerns
McClintic's transfer was eventually reversed in November, a decision Bergen attributed to "widespread outrage from Canadians."
Goodale pointed out McClintic's moves were approved under a Conservative government.
"I would remind the opposition that the decisions taken with respect to McClintic were in fact taken by the previous government when the classification was moved from maximum security to medium security," Goodale said.
"I will examine the facts of this case to ensure that all the proper rules and procedures have been followed, and that Canadians are safe," Goodale said in question period.
Correctional Service Canada told HuffPost it could not confirm when Rafferty was moved, citing Privacy Act concerns that bar the federal agency from publicly disclosing information about an offender or a specific case.
"Our hearts go out to the family of Tori Stafford for the unspeakable tragedy they have suffered. The number one priority of the correctional system is public safety," Bardsley said in an email.
Name-calling by MPs
At the height of the debate around McClintic's transfer to a healing lodge, the Conservatives were accused by NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson of exploiting a "little girl's death." The B.C. MP called the use of a child's death to score political points "sickening."
Despite MPs defeating a Conservative motion in October to reverse McClintic's transfer, the child killer was moved out of the healing lodge and into a prison the next month.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about the policy reversal in an interview on CBC News' "The National" on Sunday. He addressed the time he called Conservatives "ambulance-chasing politicians" following a House debate over McClintic's transfer.
The prime minister remained unapologetic about his tact over the sensitive subject.
"I think it's extremely important to point out when people are playing the basest kinds of politics. And the fact that I am calling out Conservatives on the way they play politics with horrific tragedies to do fundraising, and to try and score cheap points," he said.
Related on HuffPost: