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
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
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.