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Updated: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:29:07 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Robert Pickton's victims' families to get $50K each



Serial killer Robert Pickton was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder, but is suspected of killing dozens of women who went missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Vancouver Police Department

Serial killer Robert Pickton was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder, but is suspected of killing dozens of women who went missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Vancouver Police Department

An agreement has been reached with the City of Vancouver and the provincial and federal governments to pay $50,000 to each of 11 families whose relatives were victimized by serial killer Robert Pickton, says lawyer Jason Gratl.

Gratl is one of the lawyers representing the children of Pickton's victims.

Pickton, a pig farmer, was convicted in 2007 of six counts of second-degree murder and is believed to be responsible for the deaths of dozens more.

The civil suit was launched last May by the children of four women whose remains and DNA were found on Pickton's Port Coquitlam farm after his arrest in 2002. Other families had since joined the civil action.

The lawsuit claimed police and the Crown failed to warn women on the Downtown Eastside that a serial killer may have been on the loose and raised concerns about the way police eventually told the missing women's families that their cases were linked to Pickton.

Not all of the families are happy with the settlement, but Gratl said 11 of 13 families have agreed to the terms.

Troy Boen, whose mother Yvonne's DNA was found on the Pickton farm, asks how you can put a price on your mom.

"How can you put a price on someone who fed you, clothed you, took you to school, drove you here, there, everywhere? Someone you expect to be there for your entire life," he said.

"My mom was gone at 16 and from there on it was just downhill till I was about 20 — dropped out of school, started getting involved in stuff I shouldn’t have been. I'm just starting now to get my life back on track"

Wally Oppal, who headed a commission of inquiry into the missing women, says money can't replace loved ones.

"There never will be enough money to compensate those people who lost mothers and lost aunts and lost loved ones," said Oppal. "Money can never compensate that. But the law tries to do its best by compensating the people who suffered losses and money's the only measure that we have in compensating that loss."

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