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The missing women inquiry

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Protesters block off Granville and Georgia streets in advance of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry hearings in Vancouver. They oppose going ahead with the hearing when so many groups have withdrawn their support. (Emily Elias/CBC)
Controversy continues to swirl around the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. The inquiry is looking into why so many women went missing from the streets of Vancouver in the 1990s, and what role the police investigation played.

Commissioner Wally Oppal opened the hearings yesterday, even as four more groups pulled their participation. About 20 groups have now withdrawn from the inquiry because the government won't pay for them to have independent legal representation.

Oppal insists the withdrawals would not compromise his commission's work. Kelowna lawyer, Nicole Schabus, disagrees. She represents a coalition of women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.Her group withdrew from the inquiry last week.

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