VANCOUVER — British Columbia will look at passing legislation to prevent offenders from profiting from their crimes after a book reportedly written by serial killer Robert Pickton was published.
Premier Christy Clark said Monday that the province will examine laws already on the books in other provinces and could copy what has been done elsewhere.
“I am at a loss for words. To think about the pain that he’s prepared to willingly cause all of the families of those people who he murdered,” Clark told reporters in Vancouver.
“I have trouble understanding it and I think people will want to know that their government is doing everything it can to want to stop him from profiting from this at the very least.”
Solicitor General Mike Morris has asked online book retailer Amazon to stop carrying the 144-page book titled “Pickton: In His Own Words.”
Amazon could not be reached for comment.
There is no confirmation that Pickton actually wrote the book, but a statement from Morris said the province is investigating every means possible to ensure the 66-year-old, who was from Port Coquitlam, will not profit in any way.
Pickton is serving a life sentence for the second-degree murders of six women and is being held at Kent maximum security prison near Agassiz, B.C., about 120 kilometres east of Vancouver.
Advocacy group Victims of Violence In Canada says on its website that four provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, regulate whether an offender can profit from their crimes, such as through book revenues.
Citing privacy laws, the Correctional Service of Canada said it cannot provide details on an offender’s file, but “it has been made aware of the book that has been published and understands the content may be offensive to some.”
It said in a statement that federal offenders aren’t allowed to profit from recounting their crimes “if it is determined that doing so would be contrary to the objectives of an offender’s correctional plan or if doing so would pose a threat to safety of any individual, including victims, or to the security of a federal institution.”
People serving sentences in federal correctional facilities have limited access to computers, but do not have access to the Internet or to email. The service said prisoners are able to communicate with members of the public in writing and are entitled to privileged correspondence.