On Wednesday night, Canadians learned the Prime Minister’s Office knew about the transfer of notorious serial killer, rapist, and designated dangerous offender Bernardo’s transfer from a maximum-security prison to a medium-security prison in March. This revelation comes days after Canada found out that one of our most reviled criminals was being moved and the Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino did nothing to stop it despite his office knowing about the transfer.
Paul Bernardo is a vile monster and should remain in maximum security until the end of his life. The crimes he committed are embedded in Canada’s collective consciousness. After being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years, Bernardo was given the dangerous offender designation, the most serious in Canadian law.
Despite Bernardo’s notoriety, both the Prime Minister and Min. Mendicino claim their staff did not tell them about the transfer. They just let it happen. Minister Mendicino’s office knew about this for three months prior to Bernardo’s transfer.
The Minister has the authority to issue direction to Canada Corrections and he has the power to make regulations regarding the incarceration of prisoners. He has failed in this duty. Instead of halting the transfer, both the Prime Minister and Min. of Public Safety hid the information from the victims’ families. Victims and their families must come first. Monsters, like Bernardo, should spend the rest of their lives in maximum security prisons.
My colleague, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Tony Baldinelli, introduced Private Member's Bill, C-342, which seeks to keep dangerous offenders and mass murderers like Paul Bernardo in maximum-security prisons. I believe in this Bill and have co-seconded it. We offered to fast-track its passage through Parliament, but the Liberals denied this.
Bill C-342 would require that all court-ordered dangerous offenders and mass murderers be permanently assigned a maximum-security classification. It will also repeal the Liberals’ ‘least restrictive environment’ standard for assigning inmates to prisons and restore the language of ‘necessary restrictions’ the previous Conservative government had put in place.
The bottom line is this: PM Trudeau and Min. Mendicino are trying to once again pass the buck, claiming it was the fault of their staff. This is a trend that needs to be stopped, they need to accept responsibility for this egregious error and Min. Mendicino must resign. Common sense Conservative solutions, such as Bill C-342, would ensure Paul Bernardo and criminals like him stay where they belong. This type of transfer happens too often, however, in many cases, it doesn’t garner headlines. This and the revolving door of the justice system are failing victims and all Canadians.
As your Member of Parliament, passing legislation which protects Canadians is of the utmost importance. It’s a small step but I am proud to support MP Baldinelli’s Private Members’ Bill to protect Canadians and ensure victims are heard and respected. You can count on Canada’s Conservatives to put in the work required to rebuild trust in our broken legal system.