On December 17, 2012, I attended the release of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry report in Vancouver, and heard the comments and recommendations of Inquiry Commissioner Wally Oppal.
Much will be said about his report in the coming days and weeks. Did it go far enough? Why were Downtown Eastside community and advocacy groups shut out of the process? Was it focused too narrowly on policing questions that arose over so many decades? All of these questions are important and legitimate.
The most important question is: what will happen now? The real test is whether or not the 63 recommendations will be implemented and when, even knowing they don't go far enough for many of those who have been involved.
First and foremost, I want to pay tribute to the family members, friends, and the Downtown Eastside community, who have endured much, grieved a loss of a community of women, and yet refused to be silenced or placated. I know the community will carefully examine every detail of the report and level all the criticisms that need to be heard, because the community is so deeply invested in what should have be done; what could have been done; and what wasn’t done over so many years.