Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Cameron Ward may or may not be your favorite Vancouver lawyer, but he certainly got it right in his comments at the dreadful Opaque Inquiry into the Missing Women.

Representing the families of the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton, Ward blasted police Tuesday for their failures to catch the killer sooner.

Here are a just a few of his clear bald statements:

Ward suggested the Vancouver police gave families the "brush off" when they tried to report their loved ones missing.

He said the VPD, and later the RCMP, treated the missing-women case with indifference and incompetence by failing to assign enough resources.

That was because the missing women were poverty-stricken, poorly educated and largely were drug-addicted sex-trade workers, with a large proportion being first-nations women, Ward said.

Police "couldn't have cared less what happened to these women," Ward told the inquiry.

"The pervasive problem was the Vancouver police department and the RCMP simply had a bad attitude," said the lawyer.

Ward pointed out that the RCMP, tipped that Pickton was a possible suspect, failed to conduct surveillance on the serial killer before he was caught in 2002.

And the Mounties failed to act on Pickton's offer to police in 2000 that they could search his farm.

"Mr. Commissioner, the facts in the public domain are shocking, and led our clients to the conclusion that both the Vancouver police department and the RCMP completely botched the handling of the missing-women investigation," Ward said during his opening address at the start of the inquiry Tuesday.

"The conduct of both police forces was inexcusable and egregious," the lawyer added.

"They [the families of Pickton's victims] believe that the authorities are culpable in the deaths of over a dozen women because the authorities enabled Pickton to literally get away with murder for five more years," Ward said.

"Our clients believe the VPD, the RCMP and the Criminal Justice Branch have the blood of their loved ones on their hands," he said.

* * *

Add to these simple truths, the ongoing insult and outrage of the government's unwillingness to fund a number of important groups who have since walked away in disgust.

What a sorry mess.


Anonymous said...

What do you think would have happened if only three women from Point Grey were reported missing? Let alone as many that disappeared from the downtown eastside?

Anonymous said...

I find it disgusting that the police have 14 lawyers paid for by us. They should volunteer 2 or 3 of them to these groups who simple can't afford decent legal representation.

Anonymous said...

Excellent points, David. And, when this enquiry is over, will anyone ask what is being done about all the women involved in the losses in the Highway of Tears?