First Nations group lodges complaint against missing women commissioner Wally Oppal

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      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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      glen p robbins

      Nov 25, 2010 at 5:42pm

      Getting rid of Campbell - and NDP working out its music sheets - along with leadership run gives the BC Liberals - prayer - Recall -- bs out of Independent Agencies like Elections BC - and others -- and decisions from the most untrustworthy of all ministries - the BC Attorney General - including this one appointing Oppal will I predict be those little extras that make the comeback fall short.

      All reminders of government that is generally dishonest.

      East Van Arts

      Nov 25, 2010 at 5:55pm

      Liberals never learn.

      For the same reason that cops cannot be trusted to investigate cops, Liberals cannot be trusted to investigate Liberals. No one with Mr Oppal's background can be trusted to investigate either.

      For the record, New Democrats cannot be trusted to investigate their own colleagues either. Fair is fair.

      The fact that Mr Oppal is blind to this conflict demonstrates í  priori that his findings will almost certainly be unacceptable. Mr Campbell could have appointed a distinguished Canadian jurist from another province altogether, one with no ties to his own party or his own cabinet. He could have appointed a genuinely disinterested finder of fact, and no one would have complained.

      Instead, he appointed a Liberal who would be in his cabinet today if he had not lost his seat last time.

      The Liberals bring more shame to themselves every day they remain in office.

      David Emerscam

      Nov 26, 2010 at 6:58am

      Why did they send the complaint to the Law Society if he's not a member? Doesn't make sense.

      Sounds like the complainant needed to spend a bit more time using the internet.