Pickton inquiry head given extension on report

Vancouver — The Canadian Press

The commissioner overseeing the Robert Pickton inquiry has received a four-month extension to produce his final report, but the hearings will end as scheduled next week.

Commissioner Wally Oppal has been looking into why police failed to catch Mr. Pickton earlier than his arrest in February 2002, but a series of delays have made it increasingly unlikely he would finish his work by June 30.

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Attorney-General Shirley Bond has given Mr. Oppal a four-month extension and is now asking that his final report be finished by October 31.

But Ms. Bond says Mr. Oppal, who opened the inquiry last October, did not ask for any additional time to hear evidence.

She says Mr. Oppal has been given adequate time to conduct his work and she’s confident he’ll be able to fulfill his mandate.

A number of families of Mr. Pickton’s victims, their lawyer and the Opposition NDP have demanded Ms. Bond give Mr. Oppal more time, saying there are several witnesses that have yet to be heard that are important to understanding why police failed to catch Mr. Pickton.

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