Missing Women Inquiry gets six more months

Extension granted to June for probe of police delays in stopping serial killer

Former Attorney General Wally Oppal is head of the Missing Women Inquiry.

The provincial government has extended the Missing Women Inquiry by an extra six months.

The decision gives Commissioner Wally Oppal – who had asked for an extra year – until next June 30 to deliver his findings on why it took so long to catch serial killer Robert Pickton.

The inquiry had been supposed to report by the end of this year but formal hearings only began Oct. 11 in Vancouver.

Months of further testimony are expected, including evidence from senior Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and RCMP officers.

Attorney General Shirley Bond said the six-month extension should mean only an “incremental” increase in the $2.5-million in provincial funding committed for the inquiry so far.

The VPD has been accused of failing to properly investigate reports of sex trade workers who went missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside or to act on advice that one or more serial killers were hunting prostitutes there.

RCMP officers will be questioned on how it took until 2002 to catch Pickton, even though he was charged with attempting to murder a prostitute on his Port Coquitlam farm in 1997, and why they didn’t act on Pickton’s offer to search the farm in 2000.

Provincial Crown officials may testify on their decision to drop charges in the 1997 incident.

Several women vanished in the five years between the 1997 attack and Pickton’s ultimate arrest, including all six of the women he was ultimately convicted of murdering.

Much of the testimony so far has been from relatives of the victims, experts on prostitution and activists or workers from the Downtown Eastside.

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

Just Posted

Abbotsford restaurant fundraiser supports moms and kids in Mexico

Brodeur’s Bistro donates proceeds on Aug. 17 to Casa de Luz charity

POLICE/2020: Street checks by police down in Abbotsford, but no plans to completely end them

Figures show street checks in Abbotsford relatively representative of city’s population

UPDATE: Arrest made in incident in which ‘agitated’ man pulled out knife on 3 people in Abbotsford

Police say 27-year-old man arrested after information received from public

Abbotsford Police warn that water-testing calls are a scam

Fraudulent messages say City of Abbotsford is offering free water-quality tests

Value Village robbed at knifepoint in Mission

Masked man makes off with cash, avoids police K9 units and escapes

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read