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

VIDEO: Accident on Warfield Hill outside Trail

There was an accident on Warfield Hill Road on Thursday night.

Better pre-hospital care could save treatment costs in long run

The yearly cost of injury exceeds $2.8 billion according to Provincial Health Services Authority.

Personal stories offer insight into why change is needed

One woman shared her family’s experience after her mother became ill in 2016.

John White: Looking to the STARS for a solution

B.C. just needs to reach out to get the ball rolling

Eritrean family says goodbye to Rossland

Rossland’s Eritrean family is relocating to the Lower Mainland.

VIDEO: Accident on Warfield Hill outside Trail

There was an accident on Warfield Hill Road on Thursday night.

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Most Read