Mukand Lal Pallan, (left), father of Manjit Virk (centre), and Amarjit Pallan take comfort as supporters speak at a memorial marking 20 years since the swarming and bullying death of 14-year-old Reena Virk.at the Craigflower Schoolhouse in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, November 14, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Kelly Ellard’s parole delivers blow to her victim’s family

Reena Virk’s mother says Ellard has yet to take full responsibility for her daughter’s death

The mother of Reena Virk questions whether the convicted killer of her daughter has shown enough contrition.

“I don’t think that [Kelly Ellard] has taken full responsibility in Reena’s death, and I think she been minimizing her role,” said Suman Virk in an interview Thursday afternoon. Ultimately, Ellard will have to prove that she is deserving of this chance.

She made those comments after the Parole Board of Canada granted Ellard conditional approval for day parole for six months, pending completion of a residential treatment program for substance abuse. Ellard met with parole board officials Thursday.

Virk said she and her husband Manjit had no input in the decision, which gives Ellard her first real chance at one day being released from prison.

“We have no role in making this decision,” she said.

The couple heard of the decision through media and parole board officials after they had made their decision.

Virk said she and her husband hope the publicity will end soon. “We have gone with our life, since Reena has been killed,” she said.

Thursday’s decision comes one year after officials had denied Ellard’s first request for parole, and just weeks after dozens of Victoria residents came together to pay tribute to Reena Virk, who was killed by Ellard and other classmates on Nov. 14, 1997.

“We know there will be times when these things will happen but let’s look at our own family situations,” Reena’s father Manjit said during the tribute at Kosapsom Park, the place of her death. “What our kids learn in the family stays with them.

“Reena was protected, she was raised with love and kindness [and] she was trusting. When she went to school she had a hard time, people bullied her, people thought she was different [and] she was very puzzled. Why would people pick on her. We always told her, this is part of life, people have different values, they’ll mistreat you, be kind to them, talk to teachers, talk to us.”

The killing of a 14-year-old student at the time shocked and saddened not only those in Victoria, but people around the country.

One of the Saanich Police officers involved in the case was Chris Horsley. He is now a Staff Sgt., but had only been on the job for three years at the time.

“There were murders in Saanich but not one of this magnitude, who happened to be girls,” Horsley said.

“My own daughter, born two days after Reena’s death, went through the school system, and one of her assignments was to read the book about Reena Virk. That was a barometer for me.”

Ellard is now 35 years old with a young child of her own, conceived during a conjugal visit with her boyfriend, who is also behind bars.

She resides at a women’s prison in Abbotsford with her young child and has spent about 15 years behind bars. She was finally convicted of second-degree murder in 2005 after three trials.

Opinion has been mixed with readers; some feeling the crime was so vicious that Ellard should never be released, while others believe she has served her time.

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River dock fire spread slowed thanks to security guard

Creosote docks pose challenges for fire fighters

Scenes like this one in the dugout are all too frequent for parents and kids arriving to play baseball at Nunns Creek Park these days, spurring a request to the city to let them move to the Sportsplex in Willow Point. Photo from CRMB presentation to City of Campbell River
Safety concerns run Campbell River Minor Baseball out of Nunns Creek Park

Parents say ‘needle and feces sweeps’ have become part of everyday life for the baseball community

The cover of the newly redesigned Beaver Lodge Forest Lands activity guide. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust
Greenways redesigns Beaver Lodge activity guide

Guide has helped teach students for over a decade

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Most Read