paul bernardo 2021

Doug Ford says Paul Bernardo is a scumbag who should rot in prison forever

Say what you will about how he's handling the pandemic, but nobody could ever argue that Ontario Premier Doug Ford is the type to hold back when it comes to sharing his opinions.

The Premier has become known in recent years for expressing his raw, unfiltered thoughts — sometimes to hilarious effect — when answering questions after press conferences, and today was a perfect example of that.

Ford was available to reporters on Wednesday afternoon following a press conference held alongside Mayor John Tory and several of his ministers about breaking ground on the new Scarborough Subway Extension.

His very first question came from veteran journalist Randy Rath of CHCH-TV in Hamilton, and it had nothing to do with transit or the province's reopening plan (a subject that most residents can't stop talking about).

Rather, Rath probed Ford for his thoughts on another of this week's biggest news stories: The second parole hearing of convicted Ontario serial killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo.

"Yesterday, the serial rapist who raped, tortured and murdered Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy had a parole hearing," said Rath, intentionally declining to mention the high-profile Canadian felon's name.

"The last time he had a parole hearing was two years ago. The families say that this is very hard on them and they're calling for the federal government to extend the period between parole hearings to five years as opposed to two," continued Rath.

"Do you agree with the family?"

Without hesitation, and in response to a question he surely wasn't expecting right off the bat, Ford said he agreed "100 per cent" with the families of the two victims in question, both of whom were young teenagers when their lives ended at the hands of Bernardo and his then-wife Karla Homolka.

"One-hundred per cent," said Ford. "I'd go one step further... I'd just throw away the key and let this guy rot. He's nothing but a scumbag."

You'd be hard pressed to find anyone familiar with the case who wouldn't agree with this sentiment, but it's not often that you hear prominent politicians (aside from one former U.S President) hurl such insults, even toward criminals.

"Dougie Hot Takes with another one," chided one Twitter user, but others who weighed in on the subject were more along the lines of "Go Doug Ford GO!

While Ford's answer was simple, Rath's question did bring an important issue to the attention of people who might not have been following what's been up with Bernardo since he became eligible for parole in February of 2018... and more importantly, the agony he continues to inflict upon the families of his victims.

For context, French was strangled to death in St. Catharines following multiple days of videotaped torture at the age of 15 after being abducted by Bernardo and Homolka in 1992. Mahaffy was 14 when she was abducted, tortured, sexually abused (again on camera), murdered and then dismembered with a circular saw in 1991.

Convicted of multiple crimes in 1995, 56-year-old Bernardo, who has admitted to raping at least 14 women and girls, may now legally request a hearing at the Parole Board of Canada every two years.

His first parole hearing in October of 2018 lasted less than 30 minutes before the board denied him access to the outside world. His second hearing on Tuesday lasted 50 minutes and resulted in the same decision.

And yet, some critics say that his second hearing never should have happened in the first place — at least not so soon after the first, given his status as a dangerous offender and the severity of his crimes.

"For those who say that time heals, they don't know the excruciating pain that comes from such a horrific loss," said Kristen's mother, Donna French, during Tuesday's parole hearing — the second she has had to attend in less than three years.

"Time doesn't heal the pain. The pain is a life sentence."

Lead photo by

Premier of Ontario

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