B.C. criticized for halting missing women inquiry reports

Justice Minister Suzanne Anton pledges to resume progress reporting

The province will resume public progress reports on the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

The provincial government had halted reports in 2014, just two years after then-Commissioner Wally Oppal issued his 62 recommendations.

Oppal’s 2012 report found gaping holes in the work of Vancouver Police and RCMP in their investigations into the murders of women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Many of these women were aboriginal and many worked as sex workers in the Downtown Eastside. Coquitlam pig farmer Robert Pickton was charged with second-degree murder of six of those women in 2007. Charges for 20 more cases were stayed in 2010. Pickton is service a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

The recommendation to continue reporting came from Auditor General Carol Bellringer in a report released Thursday.

Auditor General Final Report on Missing Women Commission on Inquiry

“There was an indication that [the province] felt the progress was significant enough not to have that kind of report… we would suggest otherwise,” said Bellringer.

Justice Minister Suzanne Anton said that since Oppal’s 2012 report involved so many different organizations, the government had left the reporting up to them.

“The work is not done and continues, for example with the missing persons work, the work on policing, all those pieces of work continue and they’re done through work with stakeholders and they report out in their component parts,” Anton said.

“But we’ve heard the auditor general and she is expressing an interest in the community that we do more comprehensive reporting so we will be doing that.”

A report will be issued in 2017, she added.

Neither Anton nor Public Safety Safety Minister Mike Morris were able to answer questions on whether the province would establish the regional Vancouver-area police force that Oppal recommended in 2012.

“We’ve got some great examples of how integrated policing works with Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) and the Integrated Homicide Investigations Unit (IHIT) and with a number of other integrated units there and I want to explore how we can expand that to become even more effective with our policing in the province,” said Morris.

He noted systems like PRIME, a common record management database implemented by the province in the mid-2000s, had greatly improved information sharing since the Pickton days.

Bellringer said it was not her office’s place to comment on the whys of the province’s inaction towards a regional police force.

 

 

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Diwali in Surrey: ‘Festival of light’ celebrations at several halls, a library, other venues

This year Diwali is on Sunday, Oct. 27, but Surrey-area events are held over a two-week period

Theft of dog-outfits ‘a huge hit’ to South Surrey mother-daughter business

Kathy Neumeyer says 100-plus dog sweaters and raincoats were nicked from her SUV last week

Work-in-progress Surrey Eagles starting ‘to gel together’

Junior hockey team brass seeing improvements as BC Hockey League season passes quarter poll

Surrey City Centre plan expands to include new proposed SkyTrain station

New developments in business district to provide minimum 50% of floor space for office, institutional uses

Raptors Bling: NBA champions receive their rings in pre-game ceremony

There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — in the 14-karat yellow gold ring

VIDEO: Man in his 20s in hospital following shooting in Abbotsford

Incident takes place Tuesday night in 31700 block of South Fraser Way

Faster response may have prevented fatal outcome at B.C. trampoline park

Coroner’s report rules Greater Victoria father Jay Greenwood’s death accidental

Police watchdog investigates early morning fatality in Langley

Man died at scene following struggle with RCMP officers

Homicide team deployed in Coquitlam

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team investigating near Seaton Avenue, Ducklow Street

100-pound pumpkin stolen a second time from B.C. business

According to security footage, a man and woman took the pumpkin on Oct. 20 at 8:20 p.m.

Greta Thunberg declines invitation to Victoria due to time, not ferry emissions

Thunberg confirmed that she will be joining a climate strike at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday

‘Havoc and chaos:’ Alberta separatist group gains support as Liberals re-elected

The idea is getting interest from people in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British Columbia

Feds decriminalizing drugs possible if Jagmeet Singh pushes for it, expert says

National pharmacare was one of Singh’s most highly-touted platform policies

Most Read