Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday October 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

Two inmates have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the federal maximum-security prison in Quebec currently housing serial killer Robert Pickton.

Correctional Service of Canada did not confirm the identities of the two inmates in Port-Cartier Institution, but said in a statement on Monday (March 30) tha nine employees had tested positive for the virus prior to the inmates being diagnosed.

Pickton, who owned a pig farm in Port Coquitlam, was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 25 years on Dec. 11, 2007, for the second-degree murders of six women between 1971 and 2001.

He was transferred to the Quebec facility in June 2018. Pickton is 70 years old.

Other high-profile killers currently serving sentences at the Port-Cartier Institution include Paul Bernardo and Luka Magnotta.

READ MORE: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

A number of advocacy groups, including the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, has called on the federal government to release non-violent offenders in order to prevent a potential spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair asked the federal prison service and the parole board to look at early release for some offenders.

READ MORE: Should non-violent offenders be released from prison to avoid COVID-19 spread?

The Correctional Service is working closely with the Parole Board “to examine all options with respect to the safe release of offenders into the community,” said Martine Rondeau, a spokeswoman for the prison service.

– with a file from The Canadian Press


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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