2nd executive director of MMIWG inquiry resigns

Debbie Reid, Linked In

The executive director of the national inquiry looking into missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls has resigned.

There were no reasons given for Debbie Reid’s departure.

“While we cannot discuss the details of the matter, we thank Debbie for her contributions,” read a statement from the inquiry on Thursday.

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Reid is the second executive director to leave the inquiry; Michele Moreau resigned in July citing personal reasons.

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Some First Nations leaders have been critical of the inquiry’s progress so far and victims’ families have said they haven’t been adequately consulted about hearings.

According to an interim report released in November, officials with the inquiry have blamed delays on federal red tape, saying the government’s procurement and contracting policies resulted in an eight-month delay setting up offices.

Click to play video: 'MMIW inquiry stalled by government bureaucracy: report'
MMIW inquiry stalled by government bureaucracy: report

Indigenous leaders and activists have asked to extend the inquiry past its initial timeline; a final report is due at the end of 2018.

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As of this week, there has been no request by those working for the inquiry to extend it.

“We have been entrusted with a sacred responsibility and we only have one chance to get it right,” spokesperson Shaylen Smith told Global News in an email.

“We do not take this extension request lightly, and we are working diligently to deliver our request to [the] prime minister early in 2018.”

Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett responded to the latest departure in a statement, saying she’s worried the ongoing turnover at the commission will “distract from the work at hand.”

However, while she says her department shares’ families concerns about difficulties at the commission, its independence is crucial and the government won’t be intervening.

*with files from the Canadian Press

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