B.C. government fumbles release of missing women inquiry report

Families of missing women call for 'in-person delivery' of report by the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

Marilyn Renter has been waiting 15 years to see justice done for her step-daughter, Cynthia Feliks, whose DNA was found on serial killer Robert Pickton’s farm.

Feliks was also among the 20 cases of missing women that Crown lawyers decided not to pursue in court after Pickton was found guilty of murdering six women.

And now it appears the B.C. government won’t give the families of the missing women an in-person delivery of a commission of inquiry’s report before it’s released to the public via the Internet on Dec. 17.

“To deny us the opportunity of being at the report’s release is another knife in our hearts,” said Renter, a Rosedale resident.

“The inquiry cost several millions of dollars,” she added. “Mostly spent on the attorneys for the Vancouver City police and the RCMP and the salary of the commission lawyers.”

“To say that they won’t spend the money to put us up in a hotel for one night so we can be there on Dec. 17 to see the report being released is tantamount to saying that ‘we aren’t worth the money,'” she said.

But a ministry spokesman said Friday that details of the release are still being worked out, which suggests the government may yet release the report to the families in an in-person setting and cover their travel expenses to Vancouver.

Attorney-General Shirley Bond issued a statement Thursday saying the families will have “confidential access” via a secure website to the 1,448-page report at 9 a.m. Dec. 17. At 1 p.m. the report will be live-streamed for public access.

“We certainly understand how difficult this process has been for the families, and we want to be as accommodating as possible while working within the requirements of the Public Inquiry Act,” Bond said.

“We understand the families may have different needs,” Bond said in a statement, “and in addressing those, we are still in discussions with them on arrangements for the day of release to ensure we are being as accommodating as possible.”

Ernie Crey, brother to Dawn Crey, whose DNA was also found on Pickton’s farm, said the 9 a.m. release hardly gives the families enough time to absorb the report’s content before it’s released to the general public.

Crey is asking Premier Christy Clark to “step in and direct that the final report be released not only on the Internet, but also in an in-person setting to the families, Inquiry participants and the press.”

The Assembly of First Nations is also taking Clark to task for the “silent release” of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry report.

“We call on you, as the representative of the citizens of B.C. to release the MWCI report in a manner that honors the dignity of murdered women who lost their lives, seventy-seven children left behind and respects the families impacted by one of the most notorious crimes against humanity,” AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo wrote in a letter to Clark.

Renter said she will be “shocked” if the report doesn’t criticize the police for their mishandling of the investigation and their failure to identify Pickton earlier as a suspect, which might have saved the lives of some of the missing women.

“The investigation was a joke, as the report should acknowledge,” she said. “Our waiting for justice hasn’t occurred as yet.”

Just Posted

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Syringes prepared with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Walk-ins welcome at upcoming G.W. Secondary vaccine clinic

Second consecutive Saturday Fraser Health has scheduled a same-day clinic in a Chilliwack school

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

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

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read