The Missing Women Commission of Inquiry has five hearing days left, during which time it has scheduled 19 witnesses.

Yesterday, the Commission heard testimony from VPD detectives Doug Fell and Mark Wolthers.  A civilian employee of the VPD, Dorothy McKee was scheduled to appear but failed to attend.  The Commission was also scheduled to hear oral testimony from Jim McKnight.  McKnight, a 28 year veteran of the VPD who joined the RCMP as a civilian employee for seven years after his retirement in 2003, was to have been cross-examined on a 156 page affidavit that was delivered to us late on Monday, May 7th.  The Commission adjourned yesterday’s hearing without calling McKnight to the stand.  Commission Counsel Art Vertlieb, Q.C. suggested, and Commissioner Oppal agreed (over the objections of Jason Gratl and ourselves), that counsel with cross-examination questions submit them in writing and the witness would respond, also in writing, in due course.  These measures were taken for the purpose of expediency.

On the basis that there is patently insufficient time remaining to hear from necessary witnesses, we formally requested that Commissioner Oppal ask Premier Clark and/or Attorney General Bond for an appropriate extension of time.  The provincial government has directed that the Commission deliver its final report by June 30, 2012.

Tomorrow, Friday, May 11th, the Commission is scheduled to hear from VPD witnesses Chernoff, Lepine, Yeomans, Joyce, Thiele and Marshall-Cope.  We do not know what relevant evvidence the latter four witnesses might offer, as we have not been privy to any submissions or discussion relating to their testimony, nor have we received “will say” statements similar toi the ones we have been obliged to provide the Commission and participants for witnesses we have sought.