Missing woman’s mom to refile her complaint

Kim Bolan and Lindsay Kines

Vancouver Sun
Saturday, April 20, 2002

The mother of one of Vancouver's missing women plans to refile her complaint against city police over the way investigators handled her daughter's case.

Deborah Jardine said the controversy swirling around Police Complaints Commissioner Don Morrison makes her even more upset that her concerns were dismissed in the past.

"I personally feel the formal complaint I filed was not investigated nor taken seriously," Jardine said Friday.

Two former employees and one current staff member at the Office of the Police Complaints Commission have testified before a legislative committee this month that Morrison bullied and intimidated others in the office and was too cozy with police.

Jardine has been following news from the hearings intently, given her own frustration with how her complaint was handled.

"I will be re-applying to the commission and requesting a full and reasonable response re-addressing all of my complaints, plus newly acquired information in regard to Angela," she said.

Jardine believes Morrison should be replaced, given what has been said at the hearings.

Jardine's daughter, Angela, went missing in November 1998.

Deborah Jardine alleged in an official complaint to the commissioner's office in July 1999 that Vancouver police failed to do a proper and thorough investigation of her daughter's disappearance. She complained that police never informed her that Angela was missing, failed to promptly interview key people who knew Angela, never inspected her room or belongings at the Portland Hotel, and were slow to issue a missing persons poster.

The police department's internal investigation section found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the officers and summarily dismissed the complaint in November 1999.

Deborah Jardine appealed the decision to the police complaints commissioner, and her appeal was also dismissed.

"With the comprehensive information I had, and the lengths I went to ensuring my complaint would be taken seriously, I was shocked when I was informed the police complaints commissioner felt there was no reason to further investigate my allegations," Jardine said from her home in Sparwood.

"I feel my complaint should have been reviewed by an unbiased civilian board to receive a fair and adequate response."

Surrey-Newton MLA Tony Bhullar, who last month asked the commission to conduct a public inquiry into how Vancouver police handled the missing women case, said Friday he believes every case handled by Morrison should be reviewed if the allegations against the commissioner are supported by evidence.

Bhullar's complaint to the commission about the missing women was put on hold for several months.

Now Bhullar wants that decision to be revisited as well.

But even if Jardine or others re-file complaints with the commission, the same staff -- including Morrison -- will be there to deal with them.

B.C. Solicitor-General Rich Coleman said Friday that it would be up to the legislature and not one individual minister to decide if there should be a change in leadership at the office of police complaints commissioner.

Coleman said both the legislative committee hearing testimony about the commission and the commission itself report directly to the legislature.

Coleman said the public should still have confidence that if they file a complaint today, there are staff at the commission who will do their jobs professionally.

And he said it is not fair to reach conclusions on the matter based on testimony from a few people when others have yet to testify.

"I don't think we can judge anybody at this time," Coleman said. 

© Copyright  2002 Vancouver Sun


Courtesy of the Vancouver Sun 



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Updated: August 21, 2016