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Backgrounder(s) & FactSheet(s):Backgrounder




For Immediate Release


Feb. 18, 2008

Ministry of Attorney General

and Minister responsible for Multiculturalism




VICTORIA – Attorney General Wally Oppal has released terms of reference for a public inquiry into the October 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport.


Two commissions of inquiry will be headed by Thomas R. Braidwood, QC. A study commission of inquiry will be established first to report on the use of conducted energy weapons (Tasers) in British Columbia. A second hearing and study commission of inquiry will be convened to provide Dziekanski’s family and the public with a complete record of the circumstances of his death.


“Given the overlapping reviews and investigations now being conducted, combined with the jurisdictional complexity of this tragic incident, we felt it prudent to adopt a two-phased approach,” said Oppal. “The federal government has indicated that it will co-operate.”


Braidwood is the sole commissioner of both inquiries. He will complete the study commission on conducted energy weapons by this June 30. The commissioner will determine when the inquiry into Dziekanski’s death can begin. An important factor in his decision will be the status of the coroner’s inquest, scheduled for May 5 to 16, and the criminal investigation. Section 15 of the Public Inquiry Act provides that a hearing commission must not unduly prejudice the rights and interests of a participant against whom a finding of misconduct, or a report alleging misconduct, may be made.


Government’s commitment to hold a commission of inquiry into this incident was announced in November 2007 by Solicitor General John Les and is established under the Public Inquiry Act. Under the act, a hearing commission can compel attendance by witnesses and make findings of misconduct against individuals. A study commission does not have these powers. 


The attorney general is responsible for the Public Inquiry Act and receiving Braidwood’s reports. Public inquiry reports are tabled before the Legislative Assembly, following a review related to the applicable sections of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Oral hearings are open to the public, unless the inquiry commissioner determines that protection of a personal or public interest requires otherwise. 


 1 backgrounder(s) attached.





Dave Townsend

Public Affairs Officer

Ministry of Attorney General

250 387-4962


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