The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls now has until April 30, 2019 to complete its work. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Feds agree to six-month deadline extension for embattled MMIW inquiry

OTTAWA — The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is getting an additional six months to complete its work.

The federal govermnent is giving the inquiry until to April 30, 2019, to complete its work and submit its final report, instead of the initial deadline of Nov. 1.

The commission will have an additional two months, until June 30, 2019, to wind down its work.

Department officials said they will work with the inquiry to determine the budget. The Liberal government had initially earmarked $53.8 million and two years for the inquiry to complete its work.

In March, inquiry officials asked for a two-year extension in order to give commissioners until Dec. 31, 2020, to make recommendations and produce findings.

The inquiry’s interim report, released in November, called for an investigative body to re-open existing cold cases and for an expansion of an existing support program for those who testify.

The government says it will spend $9.6 million over five years to support the RCMP’s new National Investigative Standards and Practices Unit, and will fund a review of police policies and practices regarding their relations with Indigenous Peoples.

An additional $21.3 million will be provided to expand health support provided by the inquiry.

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