NDP MP Libby Davies doesn’t think Premier Gordon Campbell’s former role as chair of the Vancouver police board puts him in a conflict of interest on the issue of whether to hold a public inquiry on the missing women.
Davies sat on Vancouver city council during Campbell’s stint as mayor and police board chair from 1986 to 1993, around the time that women began disappearing from the Downtown Eastside.
“It doesn’t put him in a conflict of interest,” the Vancouver East MP told the Straight by phone. “He’s the premier. He’s in a different role. A lot more information has come forward since when he was mayor. Back in those days, originally the call was for a special task force, and that was turned down many, many times when I was on council and such. But no, I don’t think he’s in a conflict. He’s the premier and he’s got to uphold the public interest.”
Davies is urging her long-time political opponent to call a public inquiry to probe the actions of the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP in response to the disappearances and murders of the women. (She has asked that Prime Minister Stephen Harper do the same.)
On July 30, Mike Farnworth, the B.C. NDP’s critic for the solicitor general and public safety, also told the Straight he is not concerned that Campbell’s previous role as chair may pose a problem now.
Davies said, “He [Campbell] has got to recognize the incredible trauma that has happened in this province and in Canada due to the missing women. He has to make that decision as the premier, and whatever he may have thought as mayor and chief of the police board, he is now in a different role, and he has got to make that decision as premier, and he must make it.”
Campbell has yet to issue a statement on whether or not there will be a public inquiry. This disgusts Davies, who has long claimed that it is only because the women were sex workers and predominantly aboriginal that justice has been denied and delayed.
“Everybody in society has failed these women,” Davies said.