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Parole board keeps travel ban outside of Canada on for Robert Latimer

Robert Latimer in Ottawa on March 17, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson.

The Parole Board of Canada says a condition that bans Robert Latimer from leaving the country without permission will not be lifted.

A Federal Court judge ruled in September that there is nothing to indicate the 60-year-old is a danger and should be prevented from freely travelling outside Canada.

The judge ordered the parole board’s appeal division to reconsider the case.

The board, in its decision of the review released Monday, said Latimer has yet to show that he is capable of reporting to authorities with complete transparency.

The board also says that although Latimer is a low risk to society, “a level of risk continues to be present.”

Latimer was convicted in 1997 of the second-degree murder of his 12-year-old daughter, Tracy, who had severe cerebral palsy; he put her in the cab of his truck on his family’s farm near Wilkie, Sask., and piped exhaust inside.

Latimer has always said he wanted to end his child’s chronic, excruciating pain.

“It is concerning to the board, however, that we read on file that there has been no change in your thinking and level of rationalization which led to the offence,” the board wrote.

“You continue to deny this was a murder and believe what you did was the right thing to do. This represents a level of risk…”

“At this time, the level of risk that remains, your lack of showing complete transparency and appropriately conducting yourself by full managing your risk while outside the country, the board assesses that unrestricted travel lacking a board assessment on a case-by-case basis may result in an increase in your risk to an undue level to society.”

Latimer received the minimum life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years, despite a jury recommendation that he serve less time. He was released on full parole, with some conditions, in 2010.

The board denied Latimer’s request last year to leave Canada without first applying for a limited-time passport. He appealed that ruling and it was upheld by the board’s appeal division. He then took his case to the Federal Court in Vancouver.

Latimer’s lawyer, Jason Gratl, said Monday he could not comment about the board’s latest ruling until he talked to his client.

Gratl has said that if the travel restriction were lifted, Latimer would still inform his parole officer of travel plans and maintain contact by phone while abroad.