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LGBTQ community calls for immediate public inquiry into missing persons

Last Updated Mar 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm EDT

The city’s gay community is asking the province’s attorney general to open an immediate public inquiry into how Toronto police handled recent disappearances of numerous men from the Village.

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has said he is willing to call a public inquiry but wants to wait until after the criminal case against alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur has concluded.

Speaking at the 519 Community Centre at Church and Wellesley, lawyer and LGBTQ community activist Doug Elliott called that unacceptable, saying it’s already been eight years and the police investigation could take “many more years.”

Elliott also noted that as recently as December, Police Chief Mark Saunders was reassuring the community there was no serial killer. He called that a “pretty shocking statement” and pointed to an inquiry into mishandling of evidence in the Paul Bernardo case, which warned police to expect serial killers again in Ontario.

Bernardo’s crime spree began in Toronto in the early 1990s as the so-called Scarborough rapist.

How police handle missing persons cases is expected to be on the agenda at the Police Services Board meeting on Thursday.

Saunders announced in December that the force would review its handling of missing persons cases.

Mayor John Tory has said he would support an independent external review of the Toronto Police Service’s practices with respect to missing person’s investigations.

Tory said the probe should look at any systemic concerns, including examination of bias contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code against any group, including the LGBTQ community.