B.C.'s auditor general Carol Bellringer.

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

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Abbotsford council OKs bus-to-SkyTrain plan

Fraser Valley Express would begin running to Lougheed Station by start of 2021

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

Chilliwack car show cancelled due to weather forecast

Popular Village Classic car show will not be rescheduled, say organizers

Agassiz author pens a kingly book

Long-time writer and producer Alexander Hamilton-Brown just finished his first novel

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Grey-haired bank robber hit with dye pack in Langley heist

Police are looking for an older man who may be stained with dye

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

New Lower Mainland bistro caters to board game fans and families

Local food and games at every table is the formula for the new business

Most Read