Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rights groups won't join Pickton inquiry

  • Print

VANCOUVER -- The public inquiry into the Robert Pickton case lost another two participants Thursday just days before it opens as two high-profile human rights groups quit over what they described as a flawed process that will shut out society's most-vulnerable voices.

Hearings are scheduled to begin next Tuesday as commissioner Wally Oppal investigates why police failed to stop Pickton as he hunted sex workers from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

The public inquiry has been overshadowed by controversy over everything from the appointment of Oppal -- a former appeal court judge and Liberal cabinet minister -- to the provincial government's refusal to fund a number of non-profit advocacy groups despite Oppal's recommendation they receive public money to pay for lawyers.

A growing list of groups have either formally withdrawn or publicly announced they won't be attending because of the funding decision, and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty International joined their ranks Thursday.

The two groups don't necessarily need the funding themselves. Amnesty International doesn't accept government money in any event, and the civil liberties association has participated in a number of lengthy and complex public inquiries and legal cases without such funding.

But both organizations said the government's decision to effectively shut out smaller non-profits such as drop-in centres for sex workers and First Nations groups has meant the process is irreparably broken.

"To participate in a process that is that flawed and to lend legitimacy to it, we decided was to contribute to a kind of injustice,'' Michael Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association said.

"Participants who were granted standing, in order to meaningfully exercise their standing, require counsel. There are something like a million documents to review in this," he said, noting they also need lawyers to effectively cross-examine witnesses.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 7, 2011 A13

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Chief justices breakdown cameras in courtroom project

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-(Standup photo)- Humming Around- A female ruby -throated hummingbird fly's through the bee bomb  flowers Friday at the Assiniboine Park English Garden- Nectar from flowers are their main source of food. Hummingbirds wings can beat as fast as 75x times second. Better get a glimpse of them soon the birds fly far south for the winter - from Mexico to South America- JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Sept 10, 2009
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google