Canadians were shocked recently when they heard that Christopher Garnier, a convicted murderer, was receiving veteran’s benefits despite having never served a day in the Canadian military.
Garnier was convicted in 2017 for the brutal murder of Catherine Campbell, a Nova Scotia police officer. Garnier claims to have developed post-traumatic stress syndrome as a direct result of murdering Officer Campbell. He has been receiving treatment from a private psychologist funded under Veterans Affairs because his father is a former military member. The decision by the department has outraged Campbell’s family and angered veterans across the country.
Mr. Garnier, like all prisoners, has mental health services available to him through the penal system. It simply does not seem just that a person convicted of killing a police officer is receiving PTSD treatment through Veterans Affairs while so many of our veterans must fight the Liberal Government in court to receive the benefits they are entitled to.
In another shocking soft-on-crime development this week, it came to light that Terri-Lynne McClintic, who was convicted for the 2009 kidnapping, rape and murder of eight-year-old Victoria (Tori) Stafford, had been transferred from a federal prison to a “healing lodge”. I will not go into the details of Tori`s tragic death, but suffice it to say it was horrific.
According to Correctional Services Canada’s website, the Healing Lodge where McClintic was transferred contains both single and family residential units – with each unit having a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchenette with a dining area, and a living room. These are obviously comforts not afforded to most inmates convicted of a child`s murder.
The Liberals are claiming that they cannot reverse this decision. However, previous Public Safety Ministers have reversed decisions through directives to Corrections Canada (which falls under their purview).
Both of these cases serve as further examples of how this Liberal Government, under Justin Trudeau, continue to put the rights of dangerous criminals ahead of the rights of victims and their families. While we all want to see criminals rehabilitated, at the same time we must also put ourselves in the shoes of the victims` families. What message is our government sending them?
What message is our government sending Canadians when a convicted terrorist is given $10.5 million dollars?
And what message is the Canadian Government sending by lowering possible sentences for serious crimes through legislation such as Bill C-75.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Catherine Campbell and Tori Stafford. It is heartbreaking that their families must suffer anew and face the pain and anguish that comes with the renewed media attention.
Conservatives understand that convicted child killers should serve their sentences behind bars. We understand that those who murder police officers should not have access to veteran’s benefits if they have never served our country.
As Conservatives, we will continue to stand up for the rights of victims, their families and law-abiding Canadians.