Missing women inquiry expanded to include highway of tears study

This week’s announcement of the expansion of the B.C. missing women inquiry didn’t resonate with one of the victims’ most outspoken advocates.

  • Apr. 8, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Joe Fries

Prince George Free Press

 

This week’s announcement of the expansion of the B.C. missing women inquiry didn’t resonate with one of the victims’ most outspoken advocates.

The commission, headed by Wally Oppal, was originally intended to conduct a formal hearing into the police handling of the disappearances and murders of the women plucked from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by serial killer Robert Pickton. That hearing will unfold much like a criminal trial, and could result in findings of wrongdoing.

Oppal, however, asked that his mandate be expanded to include a more informal study portion that would visit this region to hear from those connected to the 18 women who have gone missing along the so-called Highway of Tears, and possibly make policy recommendations based on those submissions.

But Gladys Radek, whose niece, Tamara Chipman, is one of the Highway of Tears victims, said a study is simply not enough.

She said a formal inquiry is justified for the Highway of Tears just as it is for the Downtown Eastside in order to examine the police investigations conducted here in the north.

“I haven’t seen any resolve or cases solved since Tamara’s gone missing. I haven’t seen any answers. And that’s since 2005, and there hasn’t been any movement on any of those 18 victims,” said Radek.

“The underlying message here is: maybe we’re dealing with another serial killer. But in that respect, I think that until you can prove to me there’s only one man that killed all those women up there, there is (actually) 18 killers out there.”

Radek is one of the founders of Walk4Justice, an advocacy group dedicated to raising the profile of missing women cases across Canada. She said her group hired a lawyer to speak on its behalf at the Oppal inquiry in Vancouver, but is worried now that doing so will effectively muzzle the group in public.

Inquiry spokesman Chris Freidmond said the study portion has seven days tentatively scheduled for northern B.C. in the middle of June .

“It will be places like Prince Rupert, Vanderhoof, Terrace, Smithers, those types of communities,” said Freimond, adding he was uncertain if Prince George would make the cut.

 

The schedule was expected to be finalized after press deadline.

 

 

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

Just Posted

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Water recovery team stands down search for missing man in Stellako River

Jason Bouchard was in a boat with a friend that overturned in the river May 16

COVID-19: Increased federal funding for off-reserve Indigenous services welcomed news in north

Funding to benefit organizations such as friendship centres during pandemic

COVID-19: PG Community Foundation to disperse community support funds

$197,630 in funding announced by the Prince George Community Foundation

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Most Read