Report into ‘phenomenon’ of missing B.C. women released

The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry released a report Dec. 17, examining missing and murdered women in B.C.

The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry released a report

The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry released a report on Monday, Dec. 17, examining the “phenomenon” of missing and murdered girls and women in B.C.

The 1,448-page report, titled Forsaken, analyzes the circumstances related to missing or murdered girls and women – many of First Nations descent – across the province.

The report largely focuses on the disappearances of more than 60 women, at least 26 of whom were murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton in Vancouver, over a 20-year period.

“The loss of life is staggering,” wrote Commissioner Wally Oppal, a former B.C. attorney-general who directed the public inquiry.

The disappearances and murders of girls and women along the Highway of Tears, which are the subject of an ongoing RCMP investigation called Project E-PANA, is also reviewed extensively in the report.

“The number of missing and murdered girls in northern B.C. is unknown; people have been disappearing along the highway network of Highways 16, 97 and 5 for decades,” the report says.

“The vast spaces between communities acutely increase women’s vulnerability to violence given the lack of public transportation, and create additional challenges to the initial search and investigation of missing persons.”

Oppal recommended that an enhanced public transit system be developed “to provide a safer travel option connecting the Northern communities, particularly along Highway 16”.

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Mary Polak said work on the public transit recommendation will get underway after the holidays.

“In the new year we will start targeted consultation at first involving stakeholders involved in regional transit like local government, community leaders and First Nations… Part of that is born out of the way regional transport operates in the province. Currently all regional operations do involve local governments,” she said.

“From that I think we’ll be able to scope out an overall consultation strategy that is a bit broader. We’re hopeful to have the initial phase concluded by the summer of 2013, and a key piece of that is to really get a handle on what could be done in the region. The good news is that a lot of work has already been done along the corridor and studying it.”

Polak also said she is aware of concerns about the impact a public transportation system could have on the operations of Greyhound, the only private bus service operating in northern B.C.

“It is something we will have to pay close attention to because we don’t want to damage any of the existing services or reduce the level of those services.”

All five volumes of the report can be downloaded at Missingwomeninquiry.ca.

Shaun Thomas, editor of the Northern View, contributed reporting from Prince Rupert.

Just Posted

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Hereditary chiefs negotiate injunction agreement

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs abide by interim injunction, but gate stays up. Still opposed.

College of New Caledonia wants public’s input on budget

A public consultation will be held Feb. 1 at 4 p.m. at Vanderhoof Campus

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of B.C. overpass

Dash cam footage shows vehicle speeding across Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Most Read