Massive cuts to Highway of Tears task force slammed by judge

Posted in: ,

VICTORIA — The judge presiding over the trial of convicted serial killer Cody Legebokoff has slammed the B.C. Liberal government for their cuts to investigations of unsolved murders and missing women’s cases along the Highway of Tears.

The judge noted the 84 per cent cut in the budget for the Highway of Tears task force in his ruling on sentencing, saying “we simply must do better.”

“In 2012, the B.C. Liberals said that the Highway of Tears investigation had the government’s full support,” said New Democrat public safety spokesperson Mike Farnworth. “But documents released by the government show the B.C. Liberals have cut the investigation by 84 per cent.

“This is a perfect example of Premier Clark and the B.C. Liberals saying the right things, and then doing whatever they want.”

Hwy 16New Democrat spokesperson for women’s issues Maurine Karagianis said B.C. Liberal Justice Minister Suzanne Anton’s excuses for the massive cuts to the Highway of Tears investigative team just don’t add up.

“The B.C. Liberal justice minister excused these massive cuts by saying there is less investigative work to be done, yet not a single one of the outstanding Highway of Tears cases has been solved,” said Karagianis.

“B.C. has the highest number of unsolved cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in the country. It’s shameful for the B.C. Liberals to be cutting the resources needed to solve these cases and bring closure to grieving families who have never learned what happened to their loved ones.”

Karagianis noted that in June Premier Clark stood up with First Nations leaders and pledged to end violence against Aboriginal women and girls.

“It’s no wonder that people don’t think Premier Clark is sincere,” said Karagianis. “She doesn’t believe what she’s saying either.”