Kelly Ellard’s parole delivers blow to Virk 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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read