Three years later Missing Women’s Inquiry recommendations are left by the roadside

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Highway_of_TearsVICTORIA — Three years after the Missing Women’s Inquiry not only has the Christy Clark government refused to implement recommendations, but they have also stopped reporting on their lack of progress, say New Democrats.

“The B.C. government’s approach to the Missing Women’s Inquiry was disrespectful to families from the start,” said B.C. New Democrat women’s spokesperson Maurine Karagianis. “Unfortunately, this has continued with the government refusing to implement the inquiry’s recommendations and urgent call for enhanced public transportation.”

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice said, “Not only has the Christy Clark government refused to bring in the safe, accessible transportation system that people along Highway 16 deserve, but they were also caught destroying documents that contradicted their talking points about why they were refusing to take action.”

Rice noted that more than 500 people, including two B.C. Liberal ministers attended the Highway of Tears 2006 symposium that called for public transportation along Highway 16. A further 300 people participated in forums hosted by the Missing Women’s Commission of Inquiry. Yet, instead of taking action, the B.C. Liberals continue to hold meetings on the issue, including another meeting next week, which is excluding many Aboriginal leaders, community leaders and families of those who have gone missing along the highway.

“The Clark government is stalling, hoping people will forget about the Highway of Tears,” said Rice. “Meanwhile, people in need are being left at the side of the road, left in danger.”

Karagianis hopes that if the federal Liberal government holds a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women that it doesn’t follow the failed path taken by Premier Clark.

“Inquiries aren’t supposed to just be about producing a report and a photo opportunity. The recommendations need to be followed, and not just the ones that don’t inconvenience the government,” said Karagianis. “From start to finish, the way Premier Clark has handled the Missing Women’s Inquiry is disrespectful to the public, disrespectful to the families and disrespectful to the women who lost their lives.”