Wally Oppal, BC’s former Attorney General and inquiry commissioner, told the hearings last week that boycotting groups should reconsider.

“We are here to investigate the tragic loss of life, to understand how and why a serial killer was able to prey on our most vulnerable women for an extended period of time without being caught,” he said. “The aboriginal community is among the most vocal of our critics. . . They are not wrong.

“Every day, I come to this courtroom with the hope that the groups that have withdrawn will return. . . Each group that has withdrawn has an important role here — and by choosing not to participate, you are silencing your own voice in this process. Your voices are the heart and soul of our communities.”

Mona Woodward, from Vancouver’s Aboriginal Front Door, responded to a Vancouver Observer question about a potential UN inquiry, saying that violence against women and girls – especially sex workers and Indigenous people – continue at crisis levels in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. With the perceived failure of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, she added, the last hope remains a federal investigation – or even a global one.

“Just because the inquiry’s going to be over, doesn’t mean it’ll end violence against women and girls,” Woodward said. “I know, from a legal standpoint, (we) intend to take it outside Canada…

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