Missing, murdered inquiry stalled by government red tape: report

Inquiry leaders say Ottawa caused an eight month delay

The commissioners of the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls are blaming federal red tape for the delays that have plagued the inquiry so far.

In an interim report out today, entitled “Our Women and Girls are Sacred,” the inquiry says the federal government’s procurement and contracting policies resulted in an eight-month delay setting up offices.

The report says those offices initially had to operate without proper phones, internet and office equipment, and that there were long delays in procuring the material necessary for staffers to do their work.

“We have faced several obstacles from a bureaucratic and procedural and policy perspective in getting our national inquiry up and running and mobilized all across Canada,” chief commissioner Marion Buller told a news conference.

“We need enough time to do the job properly, to hear from families and survivors who want to speak to us, to hear from institutions about their policies and procedures, and to hear from experts in human rights and other topics.”

Buller compared the work of the inquiry to that of the five-year Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which explored the legacy of Canada’s residential school system — a tragedy that was purely historical in scope, she said.

“Our problems are historical and ongoing,” Buller said — a suggestion that perhaps her inquiry will need at least as long as the TRC, if not longer.

“Indigenous women and girls are suffering violence. That somehow has become normalized, and that is a national tragedy … it comes back to how long it’s going to take to do this right.”

As the inquiry’s work continues to ramp up and gain profile, more and more people are coming forward who want to be heard, she added. Of all 900 people who have come forward so far, 100 of them registered in the last month alone.

Commissioners Brian Eyolfson and Qajaq Robinson told the news conference that racist and colonialist attitudes have been a pervasive theme of what witnesses have been telling the inquiry.

“They did this morning, and yesterday, and the day before,” Robinson said.

The commissioners say the inquiry has to adhere to human resources, information technology and contracting rules that apply to all areas of the federal government, restrictions that they say have badly impaired the inquiry’s ability to contract the necessary people and services.

The federal Liberal government has already earmarked $53.8 million over two years for the inquiry, which is aimed at examining the patterns and factors underlying the systemic causes of violence against Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Parity prevails at BC Senior Curling championship

Teams go toe-to-toe in second Draw at the BC Senior Curling Championship

Trail RCMP seeking info on van near Fruitvale school

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Trail gears up to tackle teardown

Demolition of the Union Hotel in downtown Trail and property remediation will be ongoing this year

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Missing Surrey snowshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Most Read