Published in 24 Hours Vancouver | March 18, 2014 | Circulation: 280,000+
B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton officially confirmed what 24 hours first reported Monday — that the children of missing women will each get $50,000 in compensation.
Anton announced a $4.9-million fund Tuesday alongside representatives of the City of Vancouver, its police force, and the RCMP. She said the fund is for 98 children of those named in the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry’s 2012 report, including those whose DNA was found on Robert Pickton’s farm.
“It is our sincere hope that this funding will provide these children with an opportunity to enhance their education, their housing and other circumstances as they progress with their lives,” Anton said.
READ MORE ABOUT THE MISSING WOMEN’S FUND:
- Exclusive: Pickton lawsuit: B.C. to pay $50K per child
- Families of four Pickton victims file sweeping lawsuit
- Pickton makes Vancouver court appearance for lawsuit
- Wrongful death law questioned after Pickton fund
BC NDP MLA Jenny Kwan told 24 hours she is “glad the government finally acted” on the compensation recommendation, adding that most of the other 63 inquiry recommendations — such as a shuttle bus along northern B.C.’s notorious “Highway of Tears” — remain unfulfilled.
“It’s unfortunate that the government didn’t act on this until the family members took the matter to court,” she said. “In fact, it engaged in litigation with family members on the basic findings of fact from the inquiry — they had to fight to get to this day.”
Others called for changes to the province’s Family Compensation Act which, compared to other provinces, limits how much victims’ families receive after wrongful deaths.
“Most people would agree it’s unfair and too little,” said Neil Chantler, a lawyer for 13 of the children of missing women. “A lot of people feel that, while the number might be an accurate reflection of the law in the province, it’s the law that needs to be changed.”