B.C.'s auditor general Carol Bellringer.

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.

 

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

Just Posted

A worker is seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-based animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.
Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial delayed until February

Originally scheduled for a jury trial, Sofina and Chilliwack company now face judge alone

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual interference in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon funding Equity and Social Change Scholarships

One of the scholarships is open to any graduating student in the Chilliwack-Kent electoral district

Richard Procee is one of four candidates in the Feb. 13, 2021 Chilliwack school board byelection. Here, he poses at his store in 2017. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
VIDEO: Byelection candidate Richard Procee hopes to ‘introduce good conversation’ to Chilliwack school board

Procee discusses his involvement with his church, views on SOGI 123 and politics

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane towed across Chilliwack over weekend

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Second doses delayed as B.C. vaccine delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Most Read