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

One of Chilliwack’s oldest clubs, Toastmasters, hosts an open public speaking event this month

An open house will take place on Oct. 24 at the Mt. Cheam Lions Club Hall at 7:15 p.m.

Canada Post supports popular literacy program in Agassiz, Seabird Island

Community foundation awards grant to Story time in the Park

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Agassiz, Harrison thank fire crews for battling Mt. Hicks wildfire

Dinner for crews hosted by Agassiz Seniors Community Friday night

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

Man holds newborn son for first time after devastating B.C. racetrack crash

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

Smooth start to legal cannabis in B.C., Mike Farnworth says

Online and government store makes 4,000 sales by noon

Fraser Valley Throwdown returns this weekend

Abbotsford event back for third annual crossfit competition

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Most Read