Sunday, December 28

Vigil for Jennifer and Amber

Vigil for Amber McFarland and Jennifer Catcheway, Sunday, December 21, 2008. The families sing Silent Night and speak to about 200 people in front of Portage City Hall.

About 200 people braved -25 degree temperatures and high windchills last night to support two Portage families.

A vigil for Amber Mcfarland and Jennifer Catcheway was held in front of City Hall.

Both have been missing for several months, in spite of continuous searching.

Jennifer's mother Berniece Catcheway calls this kind of response emotional and wonderful. She feels blessed and overwhelmed so many people would come out on such a cold night, especially at Christmas.

Catcheway isn't surprised so many people attended the vigil because of how the community pulled together in search efforts this summer.

Amber McFarland's mother Lori describes the feeling as heartwarming, with vigil in the middle of the busy Christmas season, as well as in frigid temperatures.

She feels the entire community has taken the two families' pain to heart.

Info trail helps find women

Data collected by Project Kare can lead them to missing prostitutes

Edmonton Sun

By the time Shannon Collins was reported missing, her skull had long been discovered by a dog who mistook it for a plaything.

The 29-year-old Edmonton woman hadn't been seen for nearly a year before relatives filed a report with cops in September.

By then it was too late for Collins, whose remains were found in a wooded area of Strathcona County last summer.

On June 5, a homeowner in the rural Belvedere Heights subdivision found his dog playing with her skull in his backyard.

Project Kare - the RCMP-led task force investigating the deaths and disappearances of people who live high-risk lifestyles, including sex-trade workers - was consulted but isn't actively involved in this investigation.

But since forming five years ago, the task force has launched several initiatives that could reduce the likelihood of others like Collins meeting a similar fate.

Consisting of numerous investigators, Kare's proactive team immerses itself in the crevices of the sex trade, getting to know prostitutes trolling Edmonton streets for cash.

The team collects information - such as names, ages, and descriptions - from women working in the risky field.

About 90% of the women agree to turn over their stats, because they know that if they go missing, that information could help police find them more quickly.

"And they give us a DNA sample," said Kare team commander Staff Sgt. Kevin Simmill, adding grimly: "When we're telling them they may be murdered." Since launching in late 2003, Kare investigators have helped find 43 missing people leading high-risk lifestyles.

"They've been reported missing - and they've been found alive," Simmill said.

Kare workers have also helped about 50 prostitutes off the streets permanently.

In Edmonton, about 8,000 people are reported missing every year, with 96% being found within six months.

But Kare only investigates cases where those missing have a high chance of being at risk.

Cracking those cases can be especially challenging, but Kare has established a number of contacts with various agencies to more effectively trace the missing, said RCMP Supt. Mike Sekela, who's in charge of major crimes, plainclothes detectives, behavioural sciences and Project KARE.

"We're increasing the likelihood of successfully solving these files," Sekela said.

"We're tapped into so many social agencies. When we discover a fresh homicide, we reach out to those agencies - and the public at large." While Kare often investigates sinister disappearances, many people reported missing have vanished for other reasons.

Sometimes, folks wish to be estranged from their family, or have simply moved and not informed their circle of friends.

"Usually when someone goes missing, they don't fall off the face of the earth," said RCMP K-Division Cpl. Wayne Oakes.

"Just because a person goes missing doesn't always mean there's evil forces at hand."


Right now, there are five missing women listed on Project Kare's website.

Krystle Ann Julia Knott, then 16, and Rene Lynne Gunning, 19, were last seen at West Edmonton Mall on Feb. 18, 2005.

Both were believed to have started hitchhiking toward northern Alberta.

Neither has been heard from since.

Police are treating the disappearances as suspicious.

"We know they're not sex trade workers," said Kare Supt. Mike Sekela.

"But they had a high-risk lifestyle."

Meanwhile, Maggie Lee Burke was last seen Dec. 9, 2004, and reported missing eight days later.

The 21-year-old worked as a prostitute near 118 Avenue in Edmonton.

No one has seen Corrie Ottenbreit, 27, since May 9, 2005.

She was also a sex-industry worker who frequented 118 Avenue.

She vanished about a month before another prostitute, Rachel Quinney, was found slain.

Delores Dawn Brower, 33, was last seen by Kare members on May 13, about 5:40 a.m.

At that time, she was hitchhiking, trying to thumb a ride westbound on 118 Avenue.

Copyright © 2008, Canoe Inc. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 13

Pickton was no 'serial killer'

Paul J. Henderson
The Times

Friday, December 12, 2008

Women had been disappearing for years from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside before the Vancouver Police Department really started to look for a killer.

It didn't take a detective to figure it out, but the police and the elite of the city had another threat to combat.

Sure, woman after woman was listed as missing by family and friends, but because of their addresses, their occupations and their addictions, the wealthy didn't care.

Missing women? What missing women?

Yet when a string of garages were robbed the police sprung into action; a $100,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of the criminal who had been stealing mountain bikes and lawn mowers from the wealthiest residents in Shaughnessy.

It was the late 1990s, long before the jury in the Robert Willie Pickton would deliberate on his guilt or innocence in the murder of six of those missing women who, in the words of then-mayor Phillip Owen, would probably turn up in Calgary or Seattle or Portland.

I was in journalism school over the winter of 1998-1999, learning the ins and outs of covering the news, talking to politicians and dealing with media spokespeople. We had a field trip one day down to Vancouver Police headquarters to the media room where our class met with the then-ubiquitous Const. Anne Drennan.

Drennan was a familiar face in Vancouver in those days as she was on the news almost daily telling TV viewers about the crime du jour. I remember distinctly on the walls of the media room photograph after photograph of women families and friends had reported missing. Most of them looked rough after years of drug use, prostitution and hard living on the streets of the Downtown Eastside. Yet they were people, and they were missing.

There also was a poster advertising a $100,000 reward for the Shaughnessy garage robbers. One of those in my class, and I can't remember who, asked Const. Drennan why there would be a reward for the garage thieves and not for whoever was responsible for the missing women.

She gave a less than satisfactory response and more hardened reporters would have pounced I am sure, but still, those of us rookies in that room were confused by the juxtaposition. I personally was angered at the opulence of a reward provided by taxpayers to stop someone robbing rich people, while dozens of women were gone with little police effort being invested to find them.

It is almost a cliché to say it now, but it is so true that if even two or three daughters of Shaughnessy had gone missing an integrated task force would have been created and the search for the killer would have been relenteless.

But not for the "junkie scum" as at least one of those missing women knew they were viewed as by the likes of Owen and Drennan.

It didn't take a genius to see this might be the work of a serial killer, and while applying hindsight is arguably unfair to the police in this case, it did seem obvious. By the end of 1999 there were 60 women missing, almost all since the mid-1990s. No similar situations were happening in Calgary, Toronto or Montreal, yet Mayor Phillip Owen insisted on assuming these women just moved or were on vacation.

Keep focused on the missing lawn mowers.

But what I will never forget about that visit to Vancouver Police headquarters was when one of our group pursued the question, not with the force and authority of a Kim Bolan or a Terry Milewski, but as a humble J-school student, just wondering, why in the world do the police not see what is happening and put out a reward at least equal to the garage robbers?

Well, the steely-faced Const. Anne Drennan angrily barked back at us, "This is not a serial killer!"

I wonder if they ever did catch that garage robber. I hope Shaughnessy is safe again.

© Chilliwack Times 2008

Pickton tape given to police in 1998.,_2002.htm

Friday, December 12

Crey laments lack of charges

Paul J. Henderson
The Times

Friday, December 12, 2008

One year after serial killer Robert Pickton was convicted of six counts of murder, Chilliwack resident Ernie Crey wonders if anyone will ever pursue charges in connection with the death of his sister.

Dawn Crey's DNA was found at Pickton's Coquitlam farm, but he was never charged with her murder. Pickton's appeal is pending, and even after that is addressed in the new year, Ernie is pessimistic about any resolution.

"The potential outcomes are that a new trial might be ordered on the six, which is really distressing," Crey told the Times. "Or, a new trial might be ordered on all 26. Or a third possibility is that the conviction is upheld, and that is really distressing too because I think that's where it will all end."

Pickton was charged with 26 counts of murder and the first trial was for six of them. But there are also five more families, Crey's among them, who had a loved one whose DNA was found on the farm yet no charges were laid.

At the anniversary of the Pickton convictions on Dec. 9, the First Nations Leadership Council--an organization comprised of executives from the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs--issued a press release to demand a public inquiry into the deaths of so many aboriginal women.

"The 2007 conviction of Robert Pickton brought a close to a sad chapter in the lives of six women; however, there has been no closure for many of the other victim's families," said Grand Chief Doug Kelly, a Soowahlie band member and member of the First Nations Summit political executive.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said there must be a full public inquiry into the "systemic deficiencies and failures within the criminal justice system" and how the missing and murdered women were treated.

"Police and civic officials must be held to account for their negligence," he said.

In November the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women called on Canada to set up an inquiry to look into the more than 500 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP and Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Chuck Strahl said that he has recently met with Beverly Jacobs, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada. While he could not promise an inquiry would be held, he said he did agree to work with her to address the situation.

For Crey, the lack of outrage among First Nations leaders across Canada is also particularly disturbing.

"It's good when [the First Nations Leadership Council] get on board because to be perfectly honest there hasn't been any large hue and cry from the few hundred Indian bands in Canada," he said.

© Chilliwack Times 2008


Pickton farm yields 23rd woman's DNA-Jan 16, 2004

Families pay tribute to victim-Feb 2, 2004

Police build a bridge to families-Oct 4, 2001

Wednesday, December 10

Pickton conviction anniversary

December 10, 2008 05:39

Only five people turned out for a memorial at Crab Park in Vancouver marking the one-year anniversary of serial killer Robert Pickton’s conviction.

Jayson Fleury, whose sister Mona Wilson was one of the six women Pickton was convicted of murdering, said there is no closure.

“We are looking for accountability,” Fleury said. “There are still a lot of unanswered questions.”


Memorial held today to mark one year anniversary of Robert Pickton's conviction for six counts of murder

NEWS 1130
Tuesday, December 09 - 08:40:34 PM Jim Goddard

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - The serial murder trial that captured headlines around the world wrapped up a year ago today with Robert Pickton being convicted of killing six women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

A lonely vigil was held today at Vancouver's Crab Park, where a boulder has been engraved to remember all the women who have disappeared from the area.

Sadly, just three people braved the cold, wet weather to take part in the ocean side vigil, where one of them threw flowers into the water and said a silent prayer.

Jayson Fleury, the brother of murder victim, Mona Wilson, held up a sign with a picture of his sister on it. Reporters asked him how he would like his sister remembered.

"The fact she tried to get off the streets. She tried in her last two, three years to get off the streets. She went from working the streets, to ‘squeegeeing’, to simple panhandling."

Fleury says they picked Crab Park as the memorial site for a special reason.
"This is where in 1999 there was the first acknowledgement that some of our women were actually disappearing."

Fleury adds victim family members still are demanding a public inquiry into why the Vancouver police ignored the missing women for so long.

© 2007 Rogers Communications Inc. ™Rogers Broadcasting Ltd.

Monday, December 8

Next week marks first anniversary of conviction of serial killer Robert Pickton - Yahoo! Canada News

Greg Joyce

November 6, 2008

VANCOUVER, B.C. — A dubious anniversary in the annals of depravity occurs Tuesday when it will be one year since a jury found Robert Pickton guilty of six counts of second-degree murder.

Gasps and muffled screams erupted in a New Westminster courtroom on a dreary December day a year ago when the jury foreman announced Pickton was not guilty of first-degree murder.

The gasps were silenced when the foreman immediately announced a guilty verdict on second-degree murder.

The same verdict followed on remaining five counts and Pickton - showing the same lack of emotion that characterized his demeanour through most of the year-long trial - was sentenced to life in prison. He can apply for parole after he serves 25 years.

The 59-year-old social misfit was convicted of the killings of Mona Wilson, Marnie Frey, Georgina Papin, Brenda Wolfe, Sereena Abotsway and Andrea Joesbury.

He was a frequent visitor to the drug-infested epicentre of the Downtown Eastside and his victims all lived or spent much of their time there.

The case has been remarkable for its longevity.

The killings Pickton is accused of committing span several years. He was arrested in February 2002 and it took almost five years for a jury to announce its verdict.

Marilyn Kraft, whose daughter Cindy Feliks is one of the remaining 20 cases, is worn down by the ordeal.

"It's been 11 years now (since her daughter's disappearance). It's been a long time. I think everybody is very tired. I know I'm exhausted from it."

Following his arrest, an army of investigators searched Pickton's farm in Port Coquitlam literally centimetre by centimetre for two years.

Lawyers argued legal issues for a year before a jury ever heard a word of testimony in court once the trial began in January 2007.

Another chapter starts in late March when appeals launched by the defence and Crown go before the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The self-described "little old pig farmer" has been charged with 26 murders and could still face the remaining 20 counts, depending on the outcome of the appeal.

The province's highest court could order a new trial on the six counts, or a new trial on all 26 counts he initially faced before Williams divided the charges in a 2006 ruling.

The appeal court could also uphold the six convictions, allowing the Crown to abandon a trial on the remaining 20.

Kate Gibson of the Women's Information Safe House (WISH) on the Downtown Eastside, suggested little has changed as a result of Pickton's devastation.

"The situations women face on the street every day aren't any different," said Gibson. "There are still people that die every day from the effects of the life that they lead."

She has no doubt there are "plenty of other predators out there. He wasn't the only one."

Sue Davis, a sex-trade worker and member of Prostitution Alternatives Counselling and Education (PACE), says funding for programs has been hampered by the federal Conservative government.

"It becomes frustrating when people are dying waiting for funding. The Conservatives have shifted everything. We were on the cusp of something before they came into power."

She and Gibson say police presence and interest have improved due to the Pickton case.

"In no other city in this country are the police as open and coming forward, like trying new things," said Davis.

Wayne Leng, a friend of one of Pickton's alleged victims who operates a website devoted to the missing women, says most people that follow the case are focused on the appeal and "whether there will be a second trial."

But his website is now read widely and it has sparked an awareness of not only missing women, but those caught in the web of drug addiction and the sex trade.

"What I'm finding is that there is more of a coming together, like a huge network, even down into Mexico," says Leng, who now lives and works in California.

"It's not happening fast but we are joining each other's groups.

"There's more of an interest among people who are interested in the topic of violence against women."

While Gibson was hard-pressed to find major change, she points to some small advances.

"People (sex-trade workers) are a lot more vigilant than they used to be and if somebody thought someone was missing, it would come to light a lot sooner."

Many of the missing women whose names surfaced in connection with the Pickton investigation were not reported missing for weeks and sometimes months.

Sex-trade workers in the Downtown Eastside have always known and contributed to a "bad date sheet" that is circulated. That sheet now makes the rounds weekly instead of monthly, says Gibson.

Society in general, she says, is now more aware of the horrors of the Downtown Eastside.

"It has made people more aware of the situation that women face out on the street. It's not so taboo to speak about."

Groups like WISH and PACE and others set up to assist the disadvantaged are seeing increased funding from the province, the city and from private donations, says Gibson.

It's been almost seven years since Pickton's arrest and a debate continues about what to do with the property that hasn't already been developed into townhouses.

Ideas have included a memorial garden and even a public cemetery.

Kraft will have none of it, saying most of the victims' families are opposed to a memorial.

"We don't want anything on that site at all for our girls. To me, you would be memorializing their deaths and it's like a killing field to me.

"I don't care what they do with that land. I just don't want Cindy's name on it."

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Copyright © 2008 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

Little has changed for DTES since Pickton conviction

Kristen Thompson, Metro Vancouver
08 December 2008 07:37

Almost a year to the day since Robert Pickton was convicted of murdering six women from the Downtown Eastside, little has changed for sex trade workers, say some spokespeople for marginalized women.

Kate Gibson, with WISH, a drop-in centre for sex-trade workers in the area, said it’s a misconception that violence against women there has subsided since Pickton’s arrest.

Between 80 and 140 women seek refuge at WISH each night to escape violence or have somewhere safe to sleep.

“We have bad-date reports all the time,” said Gibson.

But she said until people realize the immediate need for housing and act on that need, women will continue living dangerous lives to survive.

Claire Trevena, NDP critic for child care and women’s issues, added that these issues are compounded by the fact there’s no provincial ministry for women.

“There’s no central focus for women in this province and there hasn’t been in the last eight years,” she said.

“The question of prostitution … is not one that any one ministry would solve,” she said. “But … having one ministry would help focus and tackle (women’s issues) more clearly.”

Journalist recounts Canada's most infamous murder case

by Robert Hirtle

November 8, 2008

LUNENBURG - To most people the subject is, at best, disturbing.

But for Stevie Cameron, documenting the murder trial of British Columbia pig farmer Robert Pickton was "the best research and writing experience of my life."

Ms Cameron, who is a veteran newspaper, magazine and television journalist and a former host of CBC's "Fifth Estate," has devoted the last several years of her career to writing books.

Among her more memorable efforts are "On the Take," a recount of the Brian Mulroney years of government, and "The Last Amigo," which highlights the activities of Karlheinz Schreiber in the notorious Airbus scandal.

For the last six years, however, much of Ms Cameron's life has been dedicated to covering the story of the dozens of prostitutes who began disappearing off the streets of East Vancouver back in 1995, most of whom turned up murdered on Robert Pickton's farm located about 30 kilometres outside the city.

Ms Cameron, who has written one book on the subject entitled "The Pickton File," is now working on a second effort, "The Pig Farm," set to publish when the second Pickton trial has wrapped up and a publication ban on evidence has finally been lifted.

In Lunenburg recently to address a gathering of the Lunenburg County First! Chowder Club, Ms Cameron outlined the gruesome details of the Pickton case – how the defendant lured drug-addicted prostitutes from Vancouver's downtown east side to a filthy mobile home on his pig farm where, after engaging in sex, he stabbed, shot or strangled them.

He then dismembered their bodies in his slaughterhouse and stashed the remains in barrels, pits and freezers or fed them to the pigs.

Some were even taken to a rendering plant which turned them into tallow for cosmetics, fertilizer or animal feed.

Despite the enormity of the crimes for which Mr. Pickton was being tried, Ms Cameron said word of what was really happening inside the courtroom did not get out to the public during the first trial.

"News reports appeared most days, but the stories were very, very short and perfunctory," she explained. "There were 378 journalists accredited to that story and almost no one ever came. Their bosses reacted to the public horrors of this case, so they just pulled right back. The readers were sending them complaints about the stories and they didn't want to read this, so they buried the stories and they cut them."

The court also instituted a crippling publication ban which resulted in many of the details of the case being restricted from public scrutiny.

"To this day, a huge amount of this case is still under a ban," she explained. "He was found guilty on six counts of murder last year and was sentenced to 25 years without a chance of parole. But you probably know that there are still 20 first-degree counts of murder [outstanding] and that he is supposed to go to trial on these counts. This publication ban is on the 20 … so the judge pulls any evidence against the six that affects that trial."

Ms Cameron said the trial not only represents the biggest criminal investigation in Canadian history in terms of manpower, with hundreds of people working on the case, but is also the longest trial ever undertaken in this country - seven years and counting - and has cost the Canadian taxpayer in the neighbourhood of $200 million.

It is also the largest crime scene in Canadian history with 14 acres of land that had to be painstakingly searched, "and it was also the only trial I have ever come across with 18 lawyers and 13 paralegals all working for one man.
"Willie Pickton. And on your nickel."

Although Mr. Pickton has been charged with 26 murders, the actual number of prostitutes he has killed is likely much higher.

Following his arrest in 2002, he told an undercover police officer in his cell that he had killed 49 women and was "aiming for 50," and that "after a little break," he planned on killing another 25.

Ms Cameron said that over a 20-year span beginning in the 1980s, the numbers bear out his claim as a total of 69 women disappeared from the city's east side during that period.

She pointed out that Mr. Pickton and his brother were known to police, and in fact he was charged with attacking a prostitute at his trailer in 1997 but that action was quashed when his victim refused to appear in court.

Police also had a tip in 1998 that Mr. Pickton was taking prostitutes from the east side to his Port Coquitlam farm and by 1999 he was considered "the number 1 suspect in the case," yet no investigation was started.

"So, why did it take so long to catch him?" she asked. "Because the Vancouver police didn't want to admit for a second that there was a serial killer in their city. This is the first big story of the Pickton case - the Vancouver Police Department's failure."

© 2008 Lighthouse Media Group

Friday, December 5

Memorial on Pickton farm feels right, upon reflection

Vancouver Courier

Friday, December 05, 2008

To the editor:

I have been deeply conflicted about the idea of building a memorial site on the Pickton property where my sister was murdered. I have been struck by my own internal struggle when people have tried to talk to me about it, including Michael McCarthy, who wrote the piece in the Nov. 21 Courier, in which I am quoted. ("On hallowed ground.")

Now that I have read his piece, heard from several people in response to it, and reflected on my own feelings, I would like to say a little more than I did to him on the phone.

McCarthy quotes me as saying that I am tired of talking about the topic of memorial services. What I meant was that the topic fills me with a terrible weariness. I did not mean that I don't think that people should be talking about them, nor did I wish to diminish in any way the significance of the decision to be made about the Pickton property.

In his article, McCarthy refers to an existing memorial in Crab Park. I would like to clarify that two memorials stand in Crab Park at the foot of Main Street. A beautiful large stone was dedicated in 1997 in memory of all who have been murdered. On seeing that stone after my sister's death, I realized that Crab Park was the right spot for a memorial for the missing women, so in 1999 we dedicated a bench in their memory.

The bench faces the ocean and bears a small plaque that reads "In memory of L. Coombes, S. de Vries, M. Frey, H. Hallmark, J. Henry, A Jardine, K. Koski, S. Lane, J. Murdock, D. Spence & all other women who are missing. With our love. May 12, 1999."

I was able to include only the first initials because of the small size of the plaque permitted by the park board. At the time, only the families of those 10 women wished their loved ones' names included.

Since then, I have heard about several other memorials that are being thought about or are being worked on, from the most private (for individual women) to the most public. I have found that I have not wanted to get involved, but I have been glad to know of them.

When I first heard the idea of a memorial right on the Pickton property, I did not like the idea. Then I decided that if some families and friends of the missing women would find such a memorial meaningful, it should happen, but I would not want to visit it.

Then, over the last 10 days, I have had trouble not snarling at people or bursting into tears whenever anyone mentioned the possible memorial garden or the article in the Courier. I did not try to get a copy of the paper once I had heard the article was there, and even when a friend gave a rolled-up copy to me on Thursday, it took me until Sunday to remove the elastic band and skim what was written.

I think that the reason for my resistance is that this discussion brings me closer once again to a truth that I can hardly bear: my sister's blood and bones are in that earth. Those few sordid square kilometres, however much I may revolt against the fact, are Sarah's (and many others') final resting place, and that, I believe, makes that ground sacred.

I do not want a parking lot or someone's home built on top of our loved ones' remains. A memorial garden seems fitting, while nothing else seems right.

Maggie de Vries,


© Vancouver Courier 2008

Tuesday, December 2

Missing native women gets UN attention

Need for inquiry cited by human rights body as missing and murdered aboriginal women numbers high enough to question law enforcement's effort

Paul J. Henderson
The Times

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A United Nations (UN) human rights body has called for an investigation into the 500-plus missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada, and local MP and Minister of Indian Affairs Chuck Strahl said he would address the issue.

In what is being called a rare step, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) called on Canada to set up an inquiry to look at the failure of law enforcement agencies to investigate properly, and to "take necessary steps to remedy the deficiencies in the system."

The UN CEDAW committee has asked Canada to respond to its recommendations within one year, and to recognize "the gravity of the documented disappearance and murders of 511 Aboriginal women and girls from communities across Canada."

In response to the CEDAW report issued Nov. 7, the B.C. First Nations Leadership Council and the National Assembly of First Nations called on the government to conduct a full public inquiry.

During a conference call with local media Thursday, Strahl said he had met with Beverly Jacobs, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, about the matter, and that he would work with her to address the situation.

"Whether that needs to be a formal inquiry on this or not, we've agreed to work with Ms. Jacobs and several other departments," he said.

When asked if the government would meet CEDAW's timeline, Strahl said he agreed to address the issues, but that he had just met with Jacobs Nov. 27 so it was too early to confirm.

And while he didn't suggest an inquiry was out of the question, Strahl did say that it wasn't something his department would undertake.

"I'm not going to launch an inquiry because it would have to come from the Justice Department," he said.

Local Sto:lo member Ernie Crey whose sister Dawn's remains were found at Robert Pickton's Coquitlam pig farm said he was happy to see B.C.'s top aboriginal leaders taking a stand on the need for an inquiry into the thousands of missing aboriginal women.

"Here in B.C. the disappearance of dozens of woman, many of them aboriginal, remains a mystery," Crey told the Times. "Once the Pickton case is wrapped up, there needs to be an inquiry into what happened on the Downtown Eastside (DTES) over the last two decades. How did so many women go missing from right under the noses of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD)? Even after the community raised the possibility that a serial killer might be stalking the DTES, the VPD scoffed at the idea. British Columbians want to know what went wrong and what can be done to make sure such a horrible thing never happens again in B.C."

© Chilliwack Times 2008

Canadian soldier Trevor Greene defies all odds

Shelley Lipke
Staff writer
December 1, 2008
Movie poster

In the CTV Original Documentary Peace Warrior
Saturday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

This intimate, one-hour documentary offers an exclusive look into Captain Trevor Greene’s courageous struggle to recover from a horrific axe attack in Afghanistan.

Former Will & Grace star Eric McCormack provides narration.

In March 2006, Captain Trevor Greene was ambushed from behind and struck in the head with an axe that plunged deep into his brain as he sat down to talk to villagers in Afghanistan.

News of the horrific attack made headlines across Canada, as the Canadian officer who went to the war-torn country to spread peace was instead left fighting for his life. In the exclusive CTV original documentary, Peace Warrior, Vancouver filmmaker Sue Ridout provides intimate access to Greene’s remarkable journey as he first fights to survive the near-fatal attack, and then struggles to reclaim some measure of his former life.

Of all the stories to emerge from Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, the axe attack on Captain Greene is among the most shocking. Beloved by friends and family for his larger-than-life personality, Greene, a 41-year-old reserve officer from Vancouver, was attending a routine village meeting or “shura” north of Kandahar when he was attacked by a young Afghani. Greene regularly attended these meetings as he travelled around Afghanistan with an army platoon, helping the Afghan people rebuild their country.

Greene was not expected to live. He spent the next year in Vancouver General Hospital, nearly dying several times. Doctors predicted that he would never come out of his coma, let alone speak or have any movement again. Amazingly, he proved them all wrong.

With the unwavering love and support of his fiancée, Debbie, and from a deep desire to be an active father to their young daughter Grace, Greene eventually transferred to a brain injury rehabilitation program in Alberta, where he made inspiring progress.

Through candid interviews with friends, family and fellow soldiers who witnessed the attack, Peace Warrior builds an intimate portrait of a man whose strong will and positive attitude, combined with his peak physical and mental shape before the attack, allow him to surpass everyone’s expectations, despite his devastating brain injury.

Bad Date The Lost Girls of Vancouver's Low Track by Trevor Greene

Closing Bigger - Trevor Greene, Author, Journalist, Entrepreneur
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