Task force to look into missing, murdered Manitoba women

WINNIPEG — Manitoba is forming a joint police unit to review cases of murdered and missing women.

Paul Bertrand performs a smudging ceremony on the placards of 94 women who have been murdered or are missing in Manitoba. People gathered at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG — Manitoba is forming a joint police unit to review cases of murdered and missing women.

Attorney General Dave Chomiak, Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill and RCMP Assistant Commissioner Bill Robinson announced the task force Wednesday at a news conference.

The integrated police unit will review dozens of cases of missing and murdered women that have gone unsolved.

The unit will include three RCMP officers, two RCMP analysts and four Winnipeg police officers, as well as provincial government staff.

“We all want answers and we all want closure and we all want a safe community for everyone,” Chomiak said.

The announcement came as advocates and family members rallied at the Manitoba legislature.

They say far too many aboriginal women have gone missing or have been murdered in Manitoba and no one has been held responsible.

Many say it will take a well-financed task force for police and the public to take the tragedies seriously.

Bernadette Smith’s sister Claudette Osborne has been missing for just over a year.

Smith, who organized Wednesday’s rally, said a task force has been needed for a while.

“We shouldn’t have all these other girls go missing,” she said.

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