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Crey laments lack of charges
 
Paul J. Henderson
The Times

 
One year after serial killer Robert Pickton was convicted of six counts of murder, Chilliwack resident Ernie Crey wonders if anyone will ever pursue charges in connection with the death of his sister.

Dawn Crey's DNA was found at Pickton's Coquitlam farm, but he was never charged with her murder. Pickton's appeal is pending, and even after that is addressed in the new year, Ernie is pessimistic about any resolution.

"The potential outcomes are that a new trial might be ordered on the six, which is really distressing," Crey told the Times. "Or, a new trial might be ordered on all 26. Or a third possibility is that the conviction is upheld, and that is really distressing too because I think that's where it will all end."

Pickton was charged with 26 counts of murder and the first trial was for six of them. But there are also five more families, Crey's among them, who had a loved one whose DNA was found on the farm yet no charges were laid.

At the anniversary of the Pickton convictions on Dec. 9, the First Nations Leadership Council--an organization comprised of executives from the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs--issued a press release to demand a public inquiry into the deaths of so many aboriginal women.

"The 2007 conviction of Robert Pickton brought a close to a sad chapter in the lives of six women; however, there has been no closure for many of the other victim's families," said Grand Chief Doug Kelly, a Soowahlie band member and member of the First Nations Summit political executive.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said there must be a full public inquiry into the "systemic deficiencies and failures within the criminal justice system" and how the missing and murdered women were treated.

"Police and civic officials must be held to account for their negligence," he said.

In November the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women called on Canada to set up an inquiry to look into the more than 500 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP and Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Chuck Strahl said that he has recently met with Beverly Jacobs, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada. While he could not promise an inquiry would be held, he said he did agree to work with her to address the situation.

For Crey, the lack of outrage among First Nations leaders across Canada is also particularly disturbing.

"It's good when [the First Nations Leadership Council] get on board because to be perfectly honest there hasn't been any large hue and cry from the few hundred Indian bands in Canada," he said.

 

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Updated: August 21, 2016