Mayors sign letter calling on federal government to deny parole to Robert Pickton

Warning: This story deals with disturbing subject matter that may upset and trigger some readers. Discretion is advised.

Almost a dozen Metro Vancouver mayors have signed a letter calling on the federal government to deny parole to serial killer Robert Pickton.

The letter is co-signed by mayors Ken Sim, Brad West, George Harvie, Mike Hurley and others.

“Robert Pickton’s heinous crimes have left an indelible scar on the fabric of our society, especially within Indigenous communities,” Harvie stated in a Facebook post.

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“The pain and suffering inflicted upon the victims and their families continue to reverberate throughout our province, and we cannot let this murderer back on our streets.”

The letter asks for a reassessment of the parole and sentencing framework for prolific offenders and mass murderers.

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Now in his 70s, Pickton was charged with 26 murders in the deaths of women who disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, but only convicted of second-degree murder for six of them.

In February, he became eligible to apply for day parole.

It’s extremely unlikely that Pickton would ever be released, but Palexelsiya Lorelei Williams, whose cousin, Tanya Holyk, is among more than two dozen women who were murdered or suspected to have been murdered by Pickton, said the mere fact that he can apply is “disgusting.”

“Our justice system is horrific. It’s racist and puts Indigenous women’s lives in danger,” she said. “It makes me sick to my stomach.”

— with files from Angela Jung

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