Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Government Policies Making It Difficult for MMIW Inquiry to Do Its Work on Time

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Government Policies Making It Difficult for MMIW Inquiry to Do Its Work on Time

Article excerpt

Govt red tape drowning MMIW inquiry: Buller

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OTTAWA - The head of the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada says government bureaucracy is smothering the inquiry's ability to do its work on time.

Marion Buller, the chief commissioner of the troubled inquiry, made the comments while speaking at a Senate committee about the committee's work Wednesday evening in Ottawa.

When asked if the inquiry was getting the kind of supports it needed to do its work Buller said to be brutally honest, the fact the inquiry was expected to follow the same policies and procedures for hiring practices, contracting and technology and budgeting as all government departments was frustrating and took up time they didn't have.

The inquiry has about 15 months left of its 28-month mandate and has been plagued with delays and communications issues that this summer prompted Indigenous leaders and families of missing and murdered women to demand the commissioners resign and the whole thing be restarted.

Buller has said that is not going to happen but she is preparing an official request to the government for more time and money to allow the commissioners to do the best job possible, not just the best job possible in the allowed time frame.

The inquiry has held just one hearing with family members to date, and has nine scheduled for the fall starting in Smithers, B.C. next week.

It is to provide an interim report by Nov. 1 and its final report no later than Dec. 31, 2018.

Buller wouldn't say Wednesday how much more time she will ask for but for the first time she explained in more detail the challenges that have led to some of the complaints.

"I think to be very blunt and very honest, because we're bound by government policies and procedures for spending, for information technology, information management, human resources, we are constrained," she said. …

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