B.C. NDP calls for public inquiry after Supreme Court of Canada upholds Robert Pickton's convictions

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
B.C. NDP calls for public inquiry after Supreme Court of Canada upholds Robert Pickton's convictions




The NDP critic for the solicitor general and public safety says the B.C. government should order a public inquiry into the investigation of the missing women.

Mike Farnworth, the MLA for Port Coquitlam, told the Straight by phone that a formal probe of this nature would enhance the criminal-justice system and make it more functional in the future.

"There have been so many missing women in this province, particularly out of the Downtown Eastside and Vancouver," Farnworth said. "Clearly, we know that there were mistakes made, especially at the beginning of this investigation. I think it's important not only to the families but to the public as well to know what happened."

Farnworth added that he was relieved by the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling today (July 30), which upheld Pickton's conviction on six counts of second-degree murder. The Crown has not proceeded on 20 other charges of first-degree murder.

"I think people in Port Coquitlam are feeling the same as people right across the country, who followed this," he said. "He is going to be behind bars and he will never get out. I think people are relieved by that."

NDP attorney general critic Leonard Krog told the Straight that a public inquiry is "entirely appropriate" because there are so many lessons to be learned about how the Pickton investigation was handled.

"The families deserve to know what happened," Krog said. "British Columbians deserve to know what happened. It is a way of honouring the many victims of Mr. Pickton and a way of hopefully educating the police in the future about recognizing the horror, the very horror, that the Pickton case represents before someone like him gets an opportunity to commit this many multiple murders."

Krog described the story of the missing women as "a long, grim, sad story".

"It will be painful for many to relive this through a public inquiry," he added. "But the benefits outweigh everything else, and it should be undertaken."

Premier Gordon Campbell was mayor of Vancouver from 1986 to 1993. In that capacity, he chaired the Vancouver police board when some women went missing from the Downtown Eastside.





The Georgia Straight at the end of the lead article is running a poll about having an Inquiry and prsently is running at 73% in favour.




Vancouver Police Department apologizes for its handling of Robert Pickton case


He has completed a review of the missing women investigation, and the VPD has promised to make it public after all publication bans are removed and other issues are addressed.

"First, for several years, the VPD has communicated privately to the Provincial Government that it believes a Public Inquiry is necessary for an impartial examination of why it took so long for Robert Pickton to be arrested," the department stated on its Web site. "More recently, the VPD also publicly supported a call for a Public Inquiry by Maggie de Vries, the sister of one of the Missing Women. The VPD will consider the likelihood of a public inquiry in the timing of its release of the Review."

The VPD also stated that it is obliged to inform individuals and agencies mentioned in the review in advance of its release.

"This is complicated by summer absences, and because most of the individuals involved have retired from policing," the department stated. "The VPD must also comply with the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act regarding release of the Review."



Many are nervous about an inquiry, but it's time to get on with it.




Pickton Timeline