Independent counsel Jason Gratl has prepared a damning report to the B.C. Missing Women's Inquiry that's looking into the years before the arrest of convicted killer Robert William Pickton. Titled "Wouldn't Piss On Them If They Were on Fire: How Discrimination Against Sex Workers, Drug Users and Aboriginal Women Enabled a Serial Killer," it pulls few punches. Indifference. Ineptitude. Discrimination. These words reverberate throughout the document.
Compare the budget for B.C.'s Missing Women's Inquiry (approaching $7 million) and the amounts charged by those working for the commission with what's spent by frontline charities like WISH and PACE that actually work with sex trade workers in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Senior commission counsel Art Vertlieb billed the province $483,741 for his work on the inquiry. If you put that together with the $482,139 billed by associate counsel Karey Brooks and her law firm you could fund WISH, with its $900,000 budget, for an entire year, and still have enough left over to fund PACE for a season.