Missing women forums kick off

MATT KIELTYKA

// METRO VANCOUVER

If Wally Oppal didn’t know what he was getting into before, the commissioner of the missing-women inquiry found out yesterday.

Ahead of his formal inquiry, the former attorney general hosted a public forum in the Downtown Eastside last night  and heard from politicians, community activists, residents and advocates, all of whom told him how the system has failed dozens of women and thrown them into the hands of predators like serial killer Robert Pickton.

“I believe your greatest challenge in this public inquiry is to produce a report that cannot be ignored,” MP Libby Davies told Oppal. “It must be a report that addresses the deeply disturbing and egregious crimes done to our society.”

Nothing from last night’s pre-hearing forum, or from the second one scheduled for tomorrow, can be used as evidence when formal proceedings begin in June, but Oppal said the comments will help him shape the inquiry.

“We want to hear from (the community), what went wrong and how we can prevent these wrongs from taking place in the future,” Oppal said.

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