British Columbians Support Missing Women Inquiry Recommendations

Most people in British Columbia agree with the main recommendations of the missing women inquiry into serial killer Robert Pickton, and a majority of respondents in Metro Vancouver support the idea of creating a unified police force in their area, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample of 806 British Columbian adults, more than half of respondents (57%) have followed the missing women inquiry “very closely” or “moderately closely.”

In his final report, inquiry commissioner Wally Oppal issued 63 recommendations.

Across the province, nine-in-ten British Columbians (91%) endorse the notion of improving police missing person policies and practices, and at least two thirds favour funding existing centres that provide emergency services to women in the sex trade, so the centres can stay open 24 hours a day (75%), enhancing public transit to northern B.C. communities, especially along Highway 16 (73%), and having more intensive and ongoing training for police on the history and current status of aboriginal people (68%).

In addition, three-in-five respondents (58%) agree with setting up a compensation fund for the children of missing women, and half (50%) support establishing a healing fund for the families of missing women.

Oppal also outlined seven critical failures in the police investigations, and recommended establishing a Greater Vancouver regional police force—and idea that has been openly discussed in the past few years.

In Metro Vancouver, a majority of respondents (57%) support creating a single police force that would oversee the entire Lower Mainland. The idea is more popular among men (64%) and respondents aged 55 and over (67%).

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From December 20 to December 22, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 806 randomly selected British Columbia adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.5%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of British Columbia. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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