June 13, 2012 – Media Release

(Attributable to Mr. Peter Gall, Q.C.)

On April 4, 2012 an article was published in the National Post with respect to anonymous allegations of “harassment, intimidation and conflict” occurring within the working environment of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.

Upon being informed of this, Commissioner Wally Oppal immediately made arrangements for an independent investigation into the anonymous allegations. John Boddie, Executive Director of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, took a paid leave of absence during the investigation at the request of Commissioner Oppal.

Mr. Boddie co-operated fully in taking this leave of absence so that there could be no possible perception of any management interference in the independent investigation as, in his role as executive director, he interacts daily with almost all staff and counsel. He took this leave of absence because of his commitment to the important work being done through this commission of inquiry. He did not want any misperceptions to occur during the independent investigation.

Mr. Boddie’s leave of absence should in no way be interpreted as anything except a necessary precaution and it does not reflect on his personal or professional integrity.

Mr. Boddie has contributed greatly to the work of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. He has been – and is – an important member of the senior leadership team. Mr. Boddie’s experience, knowledge and professional dedication continue to be of value to the Commission.

The independent investigation into the anonymous allegations has now been completed and a report has been submitted to the Commissioner. The conclusion of this report is: There was no evidence presented during this investigation that constituted a breach of the Human Rights Code by Commission managers or senior staff, including Mr. Boddie. A copy of this report can be found on the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry Website.

Now that the independent investigation is complete, Mr. Boddie will return to the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in his role as executive director.

The Commission staff is a highly dedicated group of individuals who have come together with professionalism and a commitment to ensure that practical and meaningful changes result from this inquiry. The work environment is stressful and demanding. The staff work long hours without external recognition. But as the focus now turns to the development of the Report and Recommendations, their commitment remains unwavering. It is clear that everyone involved in the process wants to help make sure that the horrific circumstances which confronted the Missing and Murdered Women and their families can never happen again.