May 31, 2012 – Deadline extended for development of Inquiry report
Government has agreed to extend the reporting deadline of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry (MWCI) in order to give commissioner Wally Oppal sufficient time to fully consider all the evidence and prepare a report with thorough, specific recommendations.
The report will now be delivered to government by Oct. 31, 2012 and released publicly as soon as possible after that, in accordance with the Public Inquiry Act.
This extension, as requested by Oppal, will allow for additional writing and research time, as the testimony has now finished and participant arguments will soon conclude. The commission must collate and analyze a large amount of materials from the past year, including evidence from over 80 witnesses, five days of public policy forums, 11 study commission reports, and four reports on regionalization and policy recommendations from the victims? families.
As the functions of the MWCI wind down, it is also expected the size of its staff will be reduced to manage the more directed workload required to prepare and finalize the report. This will help control the amount of taxpayer funds required for this phase of the inquiry.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond –
“Commissioner Oppal’s final report will be a substantive and critical piece to bring closure to the families of the missing women and to guide future steps that will help ensure a situation like this never happens again.”
“It’s essential there is enough time to consider a significant volume of evidence and testimony, analyze it properly, and develop thoughtful and thorough recommendations. This extension will give the commissioner the time he needs to prepare the report so that it will be received with the credibility it deserves.”
- Evidentiary hearings began on Oct. 11, 2011, and have now concluded. Final submissions are expected to be complete by the end of next week.
- Government has previously already granted the MWCI one six-month extension that moved the reporting date to June 30, 2012.
- To date, the MWI has heard testimony from more than 80 witnesses over 80 days of testimony.
- The MWCI has consulted with the public and stakeholders through:
- Community engagement forums in Prince George and Vancouver.
- Community forums in seven northern B.C. communities, in order to hear from northern residents.
- Public policy forums, which were held in Vancouver, to focus on how to improve the safety and security of vulnerable women.
- To date, government has provided more than $6 million in funding for the MWCI.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice
250 889-5945 (cell)
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