Skip to content

B.C. premier calls on comedy group to apologize to families of Pickton victims

David Eby calls merchandise depicting Robert Pickton a ‘sad attempt at humour’
Former attorney-general Wally Oppal headed Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in wake of the Robert Pickton trial. A comedy group known as Danger Cats is now facing criticism for selling merchandise featuring Pickton and Premier David Eby has called on the group to apologize. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Premier David Eby is calling on a comedy group scheduled to appear in B.C. next month to apologize to the families of women murdered by Robert Pickton over merchandise considered offensive.

“I just really encourage this group to think carefully about this sad attempt at humour and to apologize to the families of the victims because those are the people who they really hurt with this,” Eby said.

He issued the appeal Monday after being asked about a sold-out T-shirt that the group Danger Cats had been selling through its website.

It shows a cartoon of image of Pickton holding up what looks like a piece of bacon under the slogan ‘Over 50 Flavours of Hookery Smoked Beacon’. Also seen on the T-shirt is Sam Walker, one of the three members of Danger Cats, the other two being Brendan Blacquier and Brett Forte.

The figure of 50 refers to the number of women, whom Pickton claimed he had wanted to kill after having told an undercover officer that he had killed 49 women.

Police had charged Pickton, who operated a pig farm in Port Coquitlam, with 26 murders following his arrest on Feb. 22, 2002. He was sentenced to life with no possibility for 25 years after found guilty of second-degree murder in the deaths of six women in 2007. Pickton recently became eligible to apply for parole.

RELATED: B.C. serial killer Robert Pickton now eligible to apply for day parole

“I have seen the T-shirt being promoted by this group,” Eby said. “All I can say is how deeply disappointed I am by the idea that the lives of vulnerable women could be trivialized like this. These are women with families and friends, who were murdered and then their lives ignored and the fact that they were considered..less worthy, less human was one of the reasons why Mr. Pickton was able to operate and kill them with impunity for so many years.”

The women whose deaths police attributed Pickton were women reported missing from the Downtown Eastside between 1978 and 2001. All were members of marginalized groups, be it sex workers, Indigenous, or both.

Overall, police discovered the DNA of 33 women on Pickton’s farm as part of the largest murder investigation in Canadian history. But the investigation also raised questions about police apathy and the existence of systemic racism, points also came up during a later public inquiry led by former attorney-general Wally Oppal.

“It caused reckoning in our province about how we treat people, how we see people, how we see each other’s humanity and and the need to look after each other,” Eby said.

Relatives of victims have denounced both the merchandise and Pickton’s eligibility for parole.

Danger Cats are scheduled to perform at New Westminster’s House of Comedy on March 24. The group was scheduled to play scheduled to perform at Winnipeg’s Yuk Yuk’s from Feb. 29 to March 2, but organizers cancelled their show, citing the group’s content.

The comedy group claims on its site that wearing the T-shirt will “bring light to a grave injustice that is still ongoing” in accusing the “current govt” of “actively destroying evidence and seeking to erase any mention of the heinous crimes committed” without mentioning any specific authority.

Black Press Media has reached out to the House of Comedy as well as Danger Cats for comments and will update this story accordingly.

Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
Read more