Conservative Leader Poilievre Joins Calls for Minister’s Resignation Following Paul Bernardo’s Transfer

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In a recent development, it has been confirmed that the office of Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino was informed by Canada’s corrections agency about the plans to transfer notorious serial rapist and convicted killer Paul Bernardo months before it took place. This revelation has prompted the Official Opposition to call for the minister’s resignation.

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) stated that it had notified the minister’s office via email on March 2 and May 25 regarding the decision to relocate Bernardo from a maximum-security prison in Ontario to a medium-security prison in Quebec. However, the final date of the transfer had not been determined at the time of the first email. The subsequent message on May 25 provided updated communication details and confirmed that the transfer would occur on Monday, May 29.

When news of the transfer became public in early June, Mendicino expressed his profound concern and shock, admitting he was unaware of the decision to move Bernardo and lacking an explanation for the relocation. The minister explained that there is an ongoing exchange of information between CSC and his department concerning prison transfers, but decisions regarding specific cases and operations ultimately lie within the purview of CSC, not the minister or his office.

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The minister’s office has been asked for comment regarding their decision not to inform Mendicino earlier about CSC’s plans. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has called for Minister Mendicino’s resignation, stating that if the minister does not step aside or take action to dismiss those responsible in his office, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should remove him from his position. Poilievre accused the public safety minister of mishandling several issues and claimed he had been “lying” to Canadians.

Prime Minister Trudeau, speaking on the matter, mentioned that Mendicino will be addressing the situation with his office shortly. Trudeau acknowledged the difficulty of Paul Bernardo’s transfer, emphasizing the need for clear answers and transparency. The minister has been in direct contact with CSC, seeking explanations on the decision-making process and ensuring the proper functioning of the system.

Paul Bernardo, now 58 years old, was convicted in 1995 for the kidnapping, rape, torture, and murder of two teenagers, French and Mahaffy, in the early 1990s near St. Catharines, Ontario. He was also found guilty of manslaughter in the death of Tammy Homolka. Bernardo is serving an indeterminate sentence as a dangerous offender, with no specified end date.

The transfer of Bernardo has ignited widespread outrage and reopened painful wounds for the families of his victims, as they have witnessed other perpetrators being moved to lower-security facilities in recent years. Upon learning of Bernardo’s relocation, Mendicino expressed the concerns of the victims’ families and all Canadians to the federal corrections commissioner, Anne Kelly, in unequivocal terms.

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