Port Coquitlam, B.C. woman lobbying city for Robert Pickton victims memorial
Mayor says proposal needs more advocates — particularly victims' families
A woman in Port Coquitlam, B.C., is hoping to build a memorial in her city to remember the victims of Robert Pickton, but the city says it will take more than one voice for it to take the project on.
For the past two years, Jami Roberts has worked to convince the City of Port Coquitlam to build a garden to honour the women murdered by Robert Pickton.
"It affected us as a community, it truly did, to know that these horrific crimes took place in our backyard," she said.
It's an issue the mother of four is passionate about — she was once a victim of domestic abuse.
"They became women to me, not victims, not indigenous, not drug addicts, it was never that for me," she said.
Roberts had originally suggested to build the memorial on Pickton's farm. But feedback from the city and small public consultations led her to propose the soon-to-be redeveloped Blakeburn Lagoons instead.
On Friday, she will meet with Port Coquitlam's director of park operations.
Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore says he's open to the idea, but won't make any promises until he hears from more stakeholders — particularly victims' families.
"It's a big undertaking and we just want to make sure that we're collectively, as a community, doing this right," he said.
Roberts says she remains optimistic; she says everyone she's spoken to so far has been supportive of her idea.
She says she has spoken with a small number of victims' families who were supportive of the idea of a memorial but were clear they did not want to participate in its development.
She says they preferred to leave it in the hands of the city.