It has been almost four years since 19-year-old Maple Batalia was gunned down while leaving Simon Fraser University after a night of studying. Since then, her name and her story still pour into the hearts of Surrey residents each day.
WHO WAS MAPLE BATALIA?
She was a model.
She was an actress.
She was an artist.
She is the girl that no one can stop talking about: a health science student on the cover of Bazaar magazine, with a part in an international movie all while holding a part-time job and still managing to help her mom clean the house every Friday. She was a girl unlike any other.
When you search her name, you get over 12,000 hits on the web. You see her face on the Vancouver Sun, The International Movie Database (IMDB), Huffington Post and newscast sites all over Surrey. Along with being beloved within our city, her story also touched the hearts of those across the globe. A New York artist has painted a picture of her, international makeup company “Evelyn Iona,” created a lip gloss in her name and Penticton performer, Krystal Kiran, even produced a short film and dance in her name. These are all people who have never met Maple. And that was the type of girl she was: a heart so pure, a story so striking, that even strangers yearn to keep her name alive.
Friends, family, members of the community and (again) strangers continue to show their support for her memory by creating multiple scholarships under her name. The Maple Batalia Memorial fund at SFU for Health Science students alone has already received over $98,000 in donations. Even in classes with as many as 200 students, Maple stood out so much to SFU professors that some have requested that a portion of every paycheck they receive to go toward her memorial fund.
The accused is currently in prison awaiting prosecution. It has been almost four years since sweet Maple Batalia’s death and no convictions have been made. Why? The accused seems to be delaying trial by using tactics such as changing lawyers and requesting postponements. The public sees pre-trial and trial dates for the Maple Batalia case becoming postponed time and time again.
While the accused is allegedly using these delay tactics, what are Maple Batalia’s parents doing? They are doing everything in their power to feel even an ounce of justice. They are booking flights from India back to Canada just to attend a court date only to hear 20 minutes later the accused had the case rescheduled again. With every trick in the book, the accused is reopening the case and thus reopening the heavy wounds on the hearts of the Batalia family.
The family is well aware this is not only justice delayed for them but is repeated across Canada on a daily basis. The Batalia family asks you to join their call to change this and other issues within our justice system for victims. They urge the public to join them in their pursuit for justice. For Maple Batalia and other victims. They have created a petition and seek 150,000 signatures.
The petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/organizations/justice_for_maple .
We urge all readers to read the petition and stop the injustice. Help heal the wounds of the Batalia Family
A heart that matched her golden face,
The daughter that you’d hope you’d raise,
She was Maple.