December 7, 2010 – Missing Women Commission to Hold Public Hearings of Application for Standing

The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry will hold two days of public hearings in Vancouver on January 31 and February 1, 2011 to hear presentations from groups that have applied for standing to participate in the inquiry.

Senior Commission Counsel, Art Vertlieb, QC, said today that 21 applications for standing had been received.

“The applicants, who represent a cross section of community organizations, will now be invited to make oral presentations before Commissioner Wally Oppal,” said Mr. Vertlieb. “This is an important step as the Commission continues its work.”

A list of the applicants has been posted on the Commission’s website – www.missingwomeninquiry.ca

The hearings will take place at 12th floor, 1125 Howe Street from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Based on written applications, Mr. Oppal has already granted standing to the Department of Justice (representing the RCMP), the City of Vancouver (representing the Vancouver Police Department) and Crown Counsel for the province of British Columbia.

Mr. Vertlieb said the purpose of the oral hearings is to allow interested parties to make further representations in support of their written applications to participate in the inquiry.

“While we want the inquiry to be as inclusive as possible, we need to ensure that participants are connected to the issues we will be examining in a way that will allow them to contribute to our work and help us address our terms of reference,” said Mr. Vertlieb.

The Commission was appointed by the British Columbia provincial government to inquire into the conduct of police investigations of women reported missing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside between January 23, 1997 and February 5, 2002. The Commission’s terms of reference also allow it to inquire into the investigation of missing women and suspected multiple murders throughout the province.

In addition, the Commission will examine the decision by the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch on January 27, 1998 to stop legal proceedings against Robert William Pickton on charges of attempted murder, assault with a weapon, forcible confinement and aggravated assault.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please call:

Art Vertlieb
604-813-2595