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‘Help them while they're alive'

Barbara Smith
The Province

Friday, October 04, 2002

Police claim to have unearthed the remains of 15 missing women from a Port Coquitlam pig farm.

Rich Coleman, B.C. Solicitor-General, has estimated the entire investigation will last two to three years. He says "a small army of police investigators, scientists and specialists, applying the latest in technology and forensic investigation tools" will be used.

The probe could cost as much as $60 million.

Meanwhile, core funding for the Victoria Prostitutes Education Empowerment and Resource Society (PEERS) has been cut. This money funds counselling, outreach, education and school-based prevention programs.

It also provides a safe space for sex-trade workers to go where the majority of staff are role models, as well as the infrastructure required to run exiting and harm-reduction programs for sex-trade workers.

There appears to be $20 million a year readily available to dig up the DNA of dead sex-trade workers, but not the necessary one per cent of that amount to provide services to those who are living.

Sex-trade workers are 120 times more likely to be beaten, mutilated and murdered than any other group.

Willy Pickton is charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder in the missing women's case. His preliminary trial is set to begin next month.

Our province is going to spend an estimated $50,000 on renovations to the courtroom for security costs -- to ensure Mr. Pickton's safety.

Where are our priorities?

Barbara Smith, director,

PEERS, Victoria

© Copyright  2002 The Province

Women lived in 'desperate circumstances'-Oct 3, 2002

 

Email: wleng#missingpeople.net 

Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: August 21, 2016