Tone and terms of missing, murdered women inquiry will be critical: Wally Oppal

A former B.C. attorney general who led the province's Missing Women Commission of Inquiry says the federal government must strike the right tone and clearly define the terms for its own study of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

OTTAWA — A former B.C. attorney general who led the province’s Missing Women Commission of Inquiry says the federal government must strike the right tone and clearly define the terms for its own study of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Wally Oppal conducted hearings and published a 2012 report on how authorities handled cases involving missing and murdered women in the wake of the Robert Pickton case. Pickton is a serial killer convicted in 2007 of the murders of six women and charged in the deaths of 20 others.

Oppal says the incoming Liberal government must determine what kind of inquiry it will conduct to ensure it is proactive in nature.

“I would think that if you’re going to have an inquiry, you don’t need to have one of the type that we had, where the police were cross-examined for endless days because one of our tasks was to find out what the police did wrong during the Pickton years,” Oppal said.

“I think if they’re going to have one, they should have an inquiry that goes to the various communities and the centres, a commissioner or group of commissioners, to get the voice of the communities.

“It never hurts to talk to the communities to get their views and to bring them on side.”

Oppal also says the Grits should take previous inquiries into account to ensure the new investigation does not retrace old ground.

In their election platform, the Liberals committed to “immediately” starting a national public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada.

The party said it would seek recommendations for governments, law enforcement and others to help “solve these crimes and prevent future ones.”

It also committed to spending $40 million on the study over two years.

Oppal said it will be important for the government to spend wisely.

“You could not have the type of inquiry that we had, where we had witnesses being called and being examined, you couldn’t do that for $40 million across the country,” he said. “The moment you announce a national inquiry, the lawyers are going to line up. So you have to be careful as to how you’re going to spend the money.”

Just Posted

Witness describes explosion from B.C. plane crash, multiple fatalities confirmed

GABRIOLA ISLAND, B.C. — A plane that one witness describes as crashing… Continue reading

New Zealand volcano vents steam, death toll now at 16

WHAKATANE, New Zealand — New Zealand medical staff were continuing to work… Continue reading

Jersey City’s mayor says gunmen targeted kosher market

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The gunmen in a furious firefight that left… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Dream Centre for addictions treatment is approved on appeal

Several conditions are attached to the approval

Olds senior accused of showing naked picture to child in playground

Alleged incident happened in late summer but not reported until October

Your community calendar

Friday The Annual Old-Fashioned Country Christmas is being held Dec. 13 at… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Carter O’Donnell on CFL and NFL radar

Just the other week, Carter O’Donnell’s phone rang. Not unusual, until he… Continue reading

Witness describes explosion from B.C. plane crash, multiple fatalities confirmed

GABRIOLA ISLAND, B.C. — A plane that one witness describes as crashing… Continue reading

New Zealand volcano vents steam, death toll now at 16

WHAKATANE, New Zealand — New Zealand medical staff were continuing to work… Continue reading

Bill to ratify new North American trade deal coming in short order: Trudeau

OTTAWA — Opposition parties’ public fretting over aspects of the newly revised… Continue reading

Jersey City’s mayor says gunmen targeted kosher market

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The gunmen in a furious firefight that left… Continue reading

Canadians spent $908M at cannabis stores since legalization, StatCan says

OTTAWA — Canadians spent about $908 million on non-medical cannabis in the… Continue reading

Red Deer outdoor rinks open this weekend

This weekend, all outdoor city rink locations, including Bower Ponds and Setters… Continue reading

Most Read