Jun 15, 2023

By Jane Brown

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We are now learning staff in the prime minister’s office knew that notorious killer Paul Bernardo could be transferred from a maximum to medium security prison back in March.

This news revealed by a spokesperson for Justin Trudeau on Wednesday significantly widens the scope of people in government who were aware that the change was being considered by Correctional Service Canada.

But as was the case with Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, the prime minister was not informed until the end of May.

The statement from the PM spokesperson says Trudeau was briefed on the issue on May 29th, the same day Bernardo was transferred and the day before Mendicino was briefed.

The public safety minister is taking heat not only in parliament, but from the families of Bernardo’s victims.

Mendicino told the House of Commons what measures he’s taken since learning his staff knew of the transfer months before he did,

“I have taken corrective steps to deal with the issues within my office and going forward have indicated that we will be issuing new instructions to the Correctional Service of Canada to put victims’ rights at the very centre of transfer decisions to make sure that victims’ families are notified,” Mendicino explained to parliament.

But opposition Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is accusing Mendicino of knowing about the Bernardo transfer when his staff did, although he’s not making that comment outside of the commons where he would not have parliamentary privilege.

Later on Wednesday, when it became public that the PMO also knew months ahead of the transfer, Poilievre said Justin Trudeau did nothing and instead “left it in the hands of his most useless minister.”

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