Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he understands how shocked Canadians are at the decision by the Correctional Service of Canada to transfer Paul Bernardo to a medium-security prison.
Bernardo’s move from maximum security at Millhaven to a facility in Quebec was made public last week after the correctional service notified the lawyer representing the families of 15-year-old Kristen French and 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy, who Bernardo was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping, raping, torturing and murdering in the early 1990s .
At a press conference Monday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said it was “outrageous” that the prison system has moved the killer to a medium-security institution.
“He should be in a maximum-security institution,” he said. “The government should review any powers it has to reverse this ridiculous decision. Mr. Bernardo is a monster and he belongs in maximum security.”
Trudeau says Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will be raising the matter with the commissioner of the federal correctional service this week.
Correctional Services issued a statement offering no details about Bernardo’s transfer but saying safety is its “paramount consideration” in all such decisions.
“While we cannot comment on the specifics of an offender’s case under the Privacy Act, we want to assure the public that this offender continues to be incarcerated in a secure institution, with appropriate security perimeters and controls in place,” the statement read.
It went on to note that Bernardo, who has been designated a dangerous offender, is serving an “indeterminate sentence” with no end date.
Bernardo has been turned down for parole in 2018 and again in 2021.