British Columbia

No profit from crime: B.C. moves to prevent serious criminals making money from memoirs

Murderers and serious criminals in British Columbia will no longer be able to profit from telling their stories or selling memorabilia.

News of a book by Robert Pickton being sold online prompted legislation

News that Robert Pickton had written a book being sold online caused outrage. (CBC)

Murderers and serious criminals in British Columbia will no longer be able to profit from telling their stories or selling memorabilia under proposed legislation introduced today.

Prompted by news earlier this year that notorious serial killer Robert Pickton had written a book under a pseudonym and was selling it online, B.C. moved to bring its policies in line with those in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia.

If passed, the Profits of Criminal Notoriety Act will require any monies garnered from telling their stories in any form, or from the sale of memorabilia, to be paid back to the province for redistribution to the victims or their families. Any surplus would be used for victim support services.

"The day I first learned of the Pickton book, I was determined no one would make a nickel from Robert Pickton's crimes," said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris Thursday in a statement.

"This legislation is a swift, thorough response to that book. We have derailed any plans to profit from it. The act will also help ensure no other notorious or violent criminals can profit from the hurt they have caused."

The law, if passed, will apply to any criminal with a strong connection to B.C., such as the crime occurred here, or the criminal is a resident of or is serving a custodial sentence in B.C.

The law will apply retroactively to any contracts entered into after Jan. 1, 2001.