Businesses to be briefed on impact of Pickton trial
World media expected to join courthouse crowd

Lora Grindlay
The Province

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The New Westminster business community will be briefed at a meeting tonight on how the Pickton murder trial may impact their businesses.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the theatre of the Justice Institute of B.C. at 715 McBride Blvd. Hosted by the B.C. government and the City of New Westminster, its agenda will include planning and preparations for the trial and "protocols, procedures and restrictions that will be in effect during the trial."

Potential impacts on the business community will also be aired.

Robert William Pickton's trial on 27 first-degree murder charges is set to begin Jan. 30 with a voir dire -- essentially a trial within a trial, conducted under a publication ban -- to determine admissibility of evidence. That process may take months.

It's expected that local, national and international media outlets will eventually descend on the B.C. Supreme Court on Carnarvon Street in New Westminster when the calling of evidence begins.

Don Bales, director of strategic management for B.C.'s Court Services, said the meeting is "an orientation to some of the preparations that have been made . . . It may have an impact on the business community."

New Westminster Chamber of Commerce executive director David Brennan has sent the meeting notice to chamber members and will attend himself.

"I just think it's great that they're going to let us know in advance what the implications are going to be," said Brennan.

Doug Syms, president of the Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Society, said: "I really commend them for letting us know what's going on."

 The Vancouver Province 2006



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