V – also stands for Victory

(but I’m not breaking out the champagne just yet)

FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL-TERRITORIAL MINISTERS LAUNCH CONSULTATIONS ON DNA MISSING PERSONS INDEX

Ottawa, April 1, 2005 — The Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, and the Honourable Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced public consultations on creating a DNA Missing Persons Index (MPI).

The purpose of an MPI would be to identify anonymous human remains, and to help provide closure to families and loved ones of missing persons in Canada . An MPI would help law enforcement personnel to connect unidentified remains with a person who has been reported missing.

“The Government of Canada is committed to exploring the creation of a DNA Missing Persons Index to help families get the answers they need under difficult circumstances,” said Minister McLellan. “Public safety is everyone’s business, and I encourage interested Canadians to step forward and make their views known on this important issue.”

“Cross -matching DNA samples with missing persons across jurisdictions is a compelling and complicated task, but one that deserves careful examination and consideration,” said Minister Cotler. “On behalf of federal, provincial and territorial Ministers in Canada , I am committed to examining the legal and regulatory framework of how to bring about such a vital humanitarian tool.”

According to RCMP estimates, the total number of long-term missing persons cases in Canada is approximately 4,800. An average of 270 new, long-term cases are recorded each year. The Canadian Police Information Centre currently records a total of 286 sets or partial sets of unidentified human remains.

The consultations follow previous federal-provincial-territorial Ministerial discussions on the issues surrounding a DNA Missing Persons Index. They are intended to help determine whether there is a will among Canadians to create such a system, and if so, to gather expertise and points of view on such complex issues as privacy of personal information, legal and constitutional jurisdiction, technical matters relating to DNA, and financial implications.

The consultation paper is available at the following website:
http://www.psepc-sppcc.gc.ca/publications/policing/mpi/index_e.asp.

Submissions are due by June 30, 2005 .

See also: Public consultations on a DNA Missing Persons Index
See also: Missing Persons Investigations

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