The Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
The Honourable Michael de Jong
Attorney General of British Columbia
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Dear Ministers Van Loan and De Jong,
I write once again to express my full support for a public inquiry into the actions of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in the investigation of Vancouver’s missing women.
I first raised this issue in Parliament in 2001, calling for an inquiry into police actions, and for the federal government to work with all levels of law enforcement to stop the disappearance of so many women from the Downtown Eastside.
Today, questions remain about the police investigations and why it took so long for a special task force to be put together, whether there was negligence and wrong doing by law enforcement officials in carrying out their duties, and what crucial lessons must be carried forward.
I commend the diligence, perseverance, and courage of Ms. Maggie de Vries in her struggle for justice for her sister, and I am encouraged by the recent news that Police Chief Jim Chu and Deputy Chief Doug LePard now support a public inquiry.
It is critically important to recognize that there are many women in the Downtown Eastside who are still at risk daily, due to neglect, stigmatization and the failure of governments to act. I therefore also urge the government of British Columbia and City of Vancouver to act swiftly to make public the recommendations and findings of the internal investigation by the Vancouver Police Department.
Libby Davies, MP