A First Nations group says former B.C. attorney general Wally Oppal may be in a conflict of interest as the commissioner of the missing women inquiry.
In a press release today (November 25), the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs announced that it filed two days ago a formal complaint with the Law Society of British Columbia.
“Although the Union of BC Indian Chiefs supports the BC Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, we share the deep concerns of many families and community leaders that the inquiry they have fought so hard for will not achieve what was hoped for,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the UBCIC, said in the release. “How can an inquiry into the failings of police, government and Crown continue when there is at the very least a serious perception of conflict of interest of the person to lead it?”
Phillip added that the families of the missing and murdered women deserve “no less than a full and untainted measure of justice”.
However, Oppal is not a member of the Law Society, which means the organization doesn't have jurisdiction in this matter.
Oppal served as the province’s attorney general from 2005 to 2009.
In a September interview, Oppal noted the inquiry’s terms of reference cover from 1997 and 2002.
“There is absolutely no conflict here,” Oppal told the Straight at the time.
In 2011, the missing women inquiry is slated to hold “community engagement forums” in Vancouver on January 19 and in Prince George on January 21.
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