VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN
Missing women case gets $46 million
Allocation replaces contingency fund arrangement
February 18, 2004
The provincial budget has set aside $46 million over the next three years for investigation of the Lower Mainland's missing women -- the largest serial murder probe in Canadian history.
Curt Albertson, director of communications for the ministry of public safety and solicitor general, said money for the investigation previously came from contingency funds.
"Now it's in the budget, enshrined for the next three years."
The money will be used for the continuing investigation into what happened to women who are still missing, said RCMP Corporal Catherine Galliford, who speaks for the RCMP-Vancouver police missing women task force.
B.C. Solicitor General Rich Coleman estimated the cost of the investigation at more than $70 million by the end of 2003.
The new money was welcomed Tuesday by Ernie Crey, whose sister Dawn was officially added to the list of missing women last month after her DNA was discovered on the farm of Robert (Willy) Pickton.
"I think it's a positive sign," said Crey.
"The families have been told all along by the task force that their investigation would be long-lasting and as thorough as ... possible.
"To me this is evidence that this commitment is in place with what would appear to be adequate resources to bring the investigation to its conclusion."
Galliford also applauded the inclusion of new funding.
"The solicitor general's office has been very supportive of our investigation," she said.
"We have made a very public commitment to the families that we will continue to investigate the disappearance of their loved ones and this is a very solid show of support from the solicitor general for our investigation."
Pickton has been charged with 15 counts of first-degree murder, and is facing another seven charges. Police say they have found DNA belonging to nine other women.
Most of the 31 victims were on a list of 65 women.
"While at one point we focused on the search of the farm property [the Port Coquitlam pig farm belonging to Pickton]," said Galliford, "We have made it very clear that our investigation has many different facets and we still have many outstanding missing women."
© The Vancouver Sun 2004
Updated: August 21, 2016