Families of Pickton's victims call on B.C. to give public inquiry more time

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

VANCOUVER - The families of several of Robert Pickton's victims are calling on the B.C. government to give a public inquiry more time to examine why the serial killer wasn't caught sooner.

Commissioner Wally Oppal is currently scheduled to wrap up hearings in May as he attempts to meet the June 30 deadline, but the process has been dogged by delays that have put that timeline in doubt.

The latest came earlier this month when Oppal put the hearings on hold for three weeks until April 2 after a lawyer representing aboriginal witnesses quit.

But the inquiry still must hear from a list of witnesses that includes police officers, aboriginal witnesses and Crown prosecutors involved in a decision in 1997 to stay charges against Pickton.

Several families will hold a news conference in Vancouver on Thursday calling on the premier to extend the inquiry to ensure key witnesses are heard.

The commission hasn't formally asked for an extension and earlier this month, Attorney General Shirley Bond said she wasn't prepared to consider one.