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B.C. missing women investigation cost $70-M

Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The cost to the B.C. government of investigating and prosecuting this city's missing women case will likely total $70 million, B.C. Solicitor General Rich Coleman said Friday.

"This is probably the most expensive domestic investigation in Canadian history," said Coleman, differentiating it from the Air India case, which he noted had an international element.

Former pig farmer Robert Pickton faces 15 counts of murder. Prosecutors said he could face seven more.

Coleman said money was set aside in the B.C. budget for the next three years to cover the cost of the case.

The investigation will begin to look less expensive because work is now complete on the Port Coquitlam farm site at the centre of the case, he noted.

"We spent about $22- to $25-million on the ... investigation last year but we're no longer on the farm, so the number of people we had working on that part of the file is obviously reduced," said Coleman.

The solicitor general said he expected a further $16 to $18 million would be put towards the investigation next year.

"We still have a lot of leads to follow," he said.

Coleman said he hopes the federal government will eventually contribute some financial help.

Pickton, 54, is not expected to go to trial until late this year or early in 2005.

2003 Bell Globemedia Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Updated: August 21, 2016