April 20, 2007

Minister Unveils Model and Plans for Corner Brook Courthouse

The Williams Government further solidified its commitment today to the people of the greater Corner Brook region by unveiling the model and plans for a new law courts facility with a total investment of $17 million.

"This significant announcement reinforces our government�s commitment to providing justice services to the people of Corner Brook and the entire western region," said the Honourable Premier Danny Williams, MHA for Humber West. "This is an important day for the people of the west coast, as this facility will strengthen the justice system and will provide a modernized courthouse for the entire region."

The courthouse was announced last year but $11.3 million of the funding for the project will be provided as part of Budget 2007. The plans and model were unveiled today at a ceremony in Corner Brook.

"We are thrilled to be able to provide the region this opportunity for a new facility. This will not be just a building but a symbol of the importance of law in a free and democratic society," said Minister of Justice, the Honourable Tom Osborne. "We recognized there was a great need for an updated facility and with the help of my colleague, Finance Minister Tom Marshall, and with the full support of Premier Williams, we are unveiling our plans for the new facility today."

"This is a significant achievement for the people of the Corner Brook region," said the Honourable Tom Marshall, Finance Minister and MHA for Humber East. "I am pleased that the Williams Government, after consultation with the judiciary, has recognized the need for a new court house for this area and I am thrilled to watch it become a reality. It will represent for the people of the west coast, an important symbol of civic pride, democracy and rule of law."

In 2005, a committee of court users consulted on what the region�s needs were for a new consolidated courthouse and liaised with officials in the Department of Transportation and Works. With the help of an independent consultant, a concept was identified and a blueprint drawn. The tender for the construction of the facility was posted earlier this month, and construction is expected to begin in mid-June. The new courthouse will be approximately 4,487 square metres and be a simple, rectangular building, with a straightforward design. Its location on Mount Bernard Avenue will allow parking in the existing Sir Richard Squires Building parking lot.

"In our commitment to providing this new facility, we have chosen a cost-effective design that will also meet the needs of the building�s tenants and its users," said Minister Osborne. "Courts are the cornerstone of our justice system and are critical to ensuring a functioning democracy which respects the rights of all its citizens."

It is estimated the courthouse will open in early 2009.

Photo #1


Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960, 351-1227
Deborah Pennell
Director of Communications
Department of Justice
709-729-6985, 685-6612
Bill Hickey
Director of Communications
Department of Finance
709-729-6830, 691-6390


2007 04 20                                                   11:10 a.m.


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