Head of B.C. Missing Women Commission says no to national inquiry
Wally Oppal, the commissioner of the British Columbia Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, is saying no to the possibility of a national inquiry into more than 1,100 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.
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Oppal, a lawyer and former judge, was in Winnipeg on Thursday to speak about the idea at the Manitoba Criminal Justice Association's 2014 conference, which focused on women who have disappeared and died in Canada.
"If you look at our report, we do the backgrounds of many women, and they grew up in similar circumstances in Canada," he said.
"But something went wrong in their lives. Something went wrong and something happened. Next thing we knew they were addicted and forced into the sex trade. They were vulnerable and it made them an easy prey for someone like [Robert] Pickton," Oppal said, referring to the former British Columbia pig farmer who was convicted of murdering six women in 2007.
"Instead of doing more studies, we should now put that money into resources, to action regarding housing, addiction, poverty and all those things."
Oppal said the circumstances and evidence he heard while investigating the Pickton case applies to all of Canada.
"They are everybody's daughter, mother and sister," he said.
Oppal is a frequent keynote speaker at local and national conferences and lectures on policing, public safety and criminal justice.