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Lower Mainland mayors call for parole denial for Robert Pickton

The B.C. serial killer became eligible for day parole in February
A total of 12 Metro Vancouver mayors signed a letter on April 24 asking for the federal government to deny parole eligibility for B.C. serial killer Robert Pickton. (City of Delta/Special to The News)

The mayors of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are trying to stop one of B.C.’s most notorious serial killers from being introduced back into society.

Robert Pickton was found guilty of six counts of second-degree murder in 2007, with an additional 20 first-degree murder charges that were eventually stayed in 2010.

For his crimes, he was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years, which is the maximum punishment available for second-degree murder.

While this makes Pickton not eligible for full parole until 2027, federal law allows him to apply for day parole three years before his full parole eligibility.

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

However, Pitt Meadows Mayor Nicole MacDonald doesn’t want to see this happen and was one of 12 Metro Vancouver mayors to sign a letter to Attorney General Arif Virani asking the federal government to deny parole for Pickton.

READ MORE: B.C. mayors say allowing Pickton to apply for parole a ‘chilling message’

The letter, which was signed on April 24, explained that Pickton’s crimes continue to impact communities throughout B.C. even more than 20 years later.

“The magnitude of his actions, which resulted in the deaths of numerous innocent individuals, is beyond comprehension and cannot be overstated,” said the letter. “The pain and suffering inflicted upon the victims and their families continue to reverberate throughout our province, and the wounds inflicted by Pickton’s atrocities remain raw and profound.”

“Allowing Robert Pickton any opportunity for parole would not only undermine the integrity of our justice system but also jeopardize the safety and well-being of our communities. His demonstrated lack of remorse and the depravity of his actions serve as stark reminders of the danger he poses to society.”

The letter warned of the dangers of the 2022 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled stacked parole ineligibility for consecutive sentences as unconstitutional.

“As the letter I signed states, allowing any level of parole would undermine the integrity of our justice system and also jeopardize the safety and well-being of our communities,” said Mayor MacDonald.

“I feel Pickton’s parole eligibility would retraumatize victims’ families, including Indigenous families and communities, who will forever undergo the grief and healing process of losing loved ones.”

READ ALSO: B.C. comedy show cancelled following anger over Robert Pickton merch

While not one of the mayors to sign the letter, Maple Ridge Mayor Dan Ruimy said he also supported the collective call for the federal government to deny Pickton’s parole.

“Pickton’s atrocious crimes have left a traumatic impact and lifelong pain and suffering to his victims, their families, and our society, especially within Indigenous communities,” said Mayor Ruimy.

“We cannot put him back on our streets and bring further trauma and injustice to his victims’ families or put our community at risk.”

Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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