According to a CKNW report today, Attorney General Shirley Bond has said that there will be no further time extension granted to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, meaning its report must be delivered to the provincial government by June 30, 2011. She apparently cites the Commission’s $3 million cost as the reason for the deadline.

This news is very concerning for the families of the murdered women. Many of them were denied the closure of a criminal trial when a former Attorney General said it would not be in the public interest to proceed with twenty first degree murder charges against Robert William Pickton. They waited almost a decade for a public inquiry to be held into the police and Crown actions and expected it to be a thorough, independent and transparent public proceeding. Now, as it becomes increasingly evident that the RCMP and VPD have withheld important documents from the Commission, as the families’ application for more witnesses has not yet been determined, and as individual police officers have sent over a dozen new lawyers into the hearings halfway through, the families are questioning the validity of the exercise.

Although the Commission was established on September 29, 2010, it inexplicably did not start its evidentiary hearings until October 11, 2011.  Peel Regional Deputy Chief Jennifer Evans, who prepared a report for the Commission, has testified that document disclosure to her was “frustrating” and “ridiculous”.  The families fear that the public inquiry may be superficial and inadequate.  Time will tell.