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

Liam’s Lowdown: it’s the little things that get you

At first, the name of my column was going to be Liam’s Lament

Despite brief shut downs Revelstoke’s Downie Timber weathering the storm

The forestry industry is taking a hit across the province

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 21

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 21

Two musical acts playing The Last Drop on Aug. 24

See John Michael Lind and She Hangs Brightly

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read