Progress on some recommendations, while no progress on others, that sums up a report released this morning by Auditor General Carol Bellringer in how well the Provincial government has dealt with the recommendations released four years ago by the Missing Women’s Inquiry.
Her report focuses on 21 of the Inquiry’s original 63 recommendations.
She says the government has achieved important results in several areas including the establishment of a compensation fund for the children of missing women.
“We feel there is still a need for government to share its progress with the public so many families and communities are impacted by these tragedies and a number of significant initiatives are still underway that respond to the commission’s recommendations.”
But other actions are still underway, like improving transportation along Highway 16, the so-called Highway of Tears.
Bellringer also outlines 4 factors affecting the government’s response – funding, stakeholder engagement, reporting, and the lack of a champion to drive change.
The Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry was established in 2010 and was led by former Attorney General Wally Oppal.
It looked at the police investigations into 67 women who disappeared from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and the decision to stay proceedings on the 1998 attempted murder charges against Robert Pickton, Canada’s worst serial killer.
The man in charge of the inquiry says the issue needs to stay in the public eye.
The province stopped its reporting two years after former attorney general Wally Oppal tabled his report.
“I think too often inquiry reports are filed and they collect dust and I think the fact the process here is opened and the government is being held to account for what they are doing and what they are not doing is really a good thing.”
Oppal says the province has made strides in defining a missing person, compensating surviving children and police agencies are doing a better job sharing information.
With files from Janet Brown and Shelby Thom