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

Charges laid in Vanderhoof hotel homicide

A 24-year-old woman from Spirit River, Alta. has been arrested in connection… Continue reading

Rocky days ahead for Vanderhoof

But sometimes rocky days are the best days

Shovel Lake wildfire grows to 5,000 hectares

The Shovel Lake wildfire has seen substantial growth in the last 24… Continue reading

Four more evacuation alerts, one evacuation order issued

Island Lake newest wildfire of note in the Burns Lake area

Locals come out for a concert in the park

Local musicians and bands featured throughout the day

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Big bucks for painting of small B.C. town

A 1965 painting of Ashcroft by E. J. Hughes exceeded its pre-auction estimate at a recent sale.

Most Read