Pickton book prompts B.C. ban on profits from crime

New law aims to recover proceeds of memoirs, memorabilia sold by murderers, rapists and other criminals

Robert Pickton

The B.C. government has proposed a law to stop murderers and others convicted of serious crimes from profiting through sales of books or memorabilia related to their crimes.

Public Safety Minister Mike Morris said the legislation he presented Thursday is a response to a book written about Robert Pickton’s serial murders in Metro Vancouver. It was produced by a U.S. author and briefly marketed by online retailer Amazon.

The U.S. publisher withdrew the book in February after a public outcry, and Premier Christy Clark promised a law to prevent criminals from similar attempts by criminals to make money.

Morris said the legislation is similar to that of other provinces, including Saskatchewan, where a court challenge over a book by former cabinet minister Colin Thatcher was not successful. Thatcher maintained he was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife in 1983, but later agreed to turn over his proceeds from a book to the Saskatchewan government.

Morris said the B.C. Profits of Criminal Notoriety Act is designed to recover any revenue made by anyone dealing with a convicted criminal, and distribute that money to victims of the crimes in question.

“Any arrangement that any convicted criminal makes with anybody, through an agent or through a contract, for them to make a profit from their crime is covered under this act,” Morris said.

“Because the individual who was involved [in the Pickton book] was down in the States, we would be looking for reciprocal agreements that we have with other jurisdictions, not only in Canada but across North America to help us enforce that.”

The legislation covers people convicted of crimes including murder, sexual offences, child exploitation, kidnapping, drug trafficking or trafficking in persons. The legislation is retroactive to verbal or written contracts made after Jan. 1, 2001.

The constitution protects the ability of anyone to tell their story, but not to profit from it.

 

Just Posted

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Heli-skiing operation “very concerned” by new caribou protection regs

Habitat protection is important, but ‘at what cost?’, asks Nakusp tourism operator.

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Most Read