Groups Granted Standing Before B.C. Missing Women Commission

Groups Granted Standing Before B.C. Missing Women Commission

ICTMN Staff
5/10/11

Eighteen groups and individuals have been granted standing before British Columbia’s Missing Women Commission of Inquiry to participate in hearings related to the disappearances of hundreds of aboriginal women over the past several years.

Ten of them were made full participants, meaning they can cross-examine witnesses, submit evidence, have access to documents that are submitted to the commmision and take part in all phases of the hearings, the commission said in a release on May 3.

Eight applicants received limited-participation privileges, which means they need to apply to commissioner Wally Opal, who made the decisions, to cross-examine particular witnesses, the commission’s press release said. Limited participants will have access to documents and can submit material at the end of the hearings process.

All 23 applicants for standing were granted some form of participation, as several of those with similar interests joined forces. In addition, Oppal recommended that 13 groups requesting financial support from the province to fund their participation be granted it.

The commission was formed to look into the unsolved disappearances and murders of women for several years in British Columbia. Many of the women are aboriginal. More coverage at Indian Country Today Media Network can be found here and here, and the phenomenon's resemblance to similar troubles in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is detailed here.

Full participants tended to be grassroots advocacy groups with direct contact with the communities and families of missing women, and the limited participants were generally made up of policy organizations. Read the full ruling here. A list of participants is below.

Full participants
· Vancouver Police Department and Vancouver Police Board
· Government of Canada
· Criminal Justice Branch
· Families of Dawn Crey, Cara Ellis, Cynthia Dawn Feliks, Marnie Frey, Helen Mae Hallmark, Georgina Papin, Dianne Rock and Mona Wilson as represented by A. Cameron Ward
· Vancouver Police Union
· Coalition of Sex Worker-Serving Organizations
· The Committee of the February 14 Women’s Memorial March and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
· Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Walk4Justice and Frank Paul Society
· Native Women’s Association of Canada
· Dr. Kim Rossmo

Limited participants
· BC Civil Liberties Association, Amnesty International and PIVOT Legal Society
· Ending Violence Association of BC and West Coast LEAF
· Assembly of First Nations
· Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs
• Women’s Equality & Security Coalition
· Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC
· First Nations Summit
· CRAB – Water for Life Society
Mr. Oppal recommended financial support for the following full participants:
· The Families as represented by A. Cameron Ward
· Coalition of Sex Worker-Serving Organizations
· The Committee of the February 14 Women’s Memorial March and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
· Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Walk4Justice and Frank Paul Society
· Native Women’s Association of Canada
· Dr. Kim Rossmo

Recommended funding
· British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, Amnesty International and PIVOT Legal Society
· Ending Violence Association of British Columbia and West Coast LEAF
· Assembly of First Nations
· Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs
· Women’s Equality & Security Coalition
· Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC
· First Nations Summit

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