Former judge and attorney general Wally Oppal will head a public inquiry into Vancouver’s missing women, the province announced yesterday.
“Absolutely horrific crimes took place,” said Oppal, who retired from the province’s highest court in 2006 to run for the provincial legislature. “The victims were vulnerable women, many of them aboriginal women who were disenfranchised. I want to find out if those complaints were dealt with fairly.”
The commission’s report is due at the end of 2011.
Attorney General Michael de Jong applauded Oppal’s “impeccable track record of public service” and his ability to empathize with victims, calling him a “very human” judge.
The inquiry will look into the police investigations into the missing women between January 1997 and February 2002 and the 1998 decision by the Crown to stay charges against Robert Pickton for the aggravated assault of a sex worker.
It will cost around $3 to $5 million and will recommend changes to how missing-women complaints and suspected serial killings are handled in the future.