As Commissioner Wally Oppal and the media tried to talk about Vancouver's Missing Women, the forsaken women, the marginalized women, these women demanded space to talk for themselves. They demanded to be heard — just as the marginalized women in the Downtown Eastside have long done. It remains to be seen, however, if anyone is listening.
The final report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry is significant because it will likely inform how future investigations are carried out. Importantly, particularly for those of us interested in ending violence against women and girls, this is a critical opportunity to observe the inner workings of a formal state response to this violence, which in turn, better prepares us for engaging the Canadian state on this issue.