Families of Victims Hopeful After Pickton Inquiry
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Families of women believed murdered by Robert Pickton are welcoming a public inquiry report. Commissioner Wally Oppal concluded systemic bias toward sex workers was a factor in allowing the serial killer to spend years hunting victims.


Families of women believed murdered by serial-killer Robert Pickton welcomed the massive inquiry report into the police bungling that allowed the pig farmer to continue killing, saying wearily they hope it will lead to positive change.Lori-Ann Ellis, whose sister-in-law Cara Ellis's remains were found on Pickton's farm, said Monday she was impressed with Commissioner Wally Oppal's thoroughness, but said she also thinks he wasn't able to see the whole picture because of the limitations in his mandate."It's a baby step, but at least we're moving in the right direction," she said."At some point in time, in order for the families to start healing, we have to trust someone. Do I think it's going to change overnight? No."Pickton was convicted in 2007 of the murder of six women, while charges involving 20 others were stayed. The remains of a further seven women were found on his farm.Ernie Crey said he, too, was "deeply impressed" with the report. Crey's sister's DNA was found on the Pickton farm.He acknowledged the inquiry process had shortcomings and many groups remain angry that they were left out.But he added, "It really boils down to, what do we do about it? I'd rather spend my time doing concrete things today and tomorrow and the day after that than just being critical and not participating in the process."We need to work with what we have."But if the families were cautious in their support for the inquiry report, other players in the long-running story were sombre, some were contrite and others were terse.Attorney General Shirley Bond was overcome with emotion as she noted her government will be moving immediately on some of the recommendations."It is my ardent hope that British Columbia never has another chapter like this in its history," Bond said, fighting back tears.