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

Celgar says equipment failure won’t affect production next week

The chip dumper collapse on Oct. 6 is still under investigation

Hundreds turn out for Singh, NDP candidate rally in Penticton

The messaging was clear, NDP “chooses you”

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

How local candidates are using Facebook to advertise directly to you

Liberal campaign is the biggest spender on Facebook ads in South Okanangan–West Kootenay

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Most Read