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Executive Council
May 3, 2010

Corner Brook Law Courts Officially Open

The Honourable Felix Collins, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, was joined today by the Honourable Tom Marshall, MHA for Humber East, to officially open the new Corner Brook Law Courts, located at Mount Bernard Avenue. Ministers Collins and Marshall unveiled a commemorative plaque and presented the keys of the building to Chief Justice of Newfoundland and Labrador Derek Green. A ceremonial sitting of the courts was also held to mark the occasion and was attended by Justice Thomas Cromwell of the Supreme Court of Canada, Chief Justice David Orsborn of the Trial Division, Chief Judge Mark Pike of Provincial Court, judges of all levels of court in Newfoundland and Labrador, members of the legal community and other guests.

"This new addition to the court facilities of Newfoundland and Labrador is welcomed by everyone in our province's legal community," said Minister Collins. "Our government is moving forward with plans to expand the Family Division of the Supreme Court to western Newfoundland and the Corner Brook Law Courts provides a modern approach to this area of the law with a courtroom designed to promote a less adversarial atmosphere to family law matters and encourage dialogue. I look forward to the full expansion of the Supreme Court, Family Division to the west coast of Newfoundland in the coming weeks."

The Corner Brook Law Courts, located adjacent to the Sir Richard Squires Building, is a three-storey structure with a total floor area of approximately 49,500 square feet, including a partial basement. The new courthouse consists of seven courtrooms and will be home to all levels of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, including a newly expanded Family Division, as well as Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. The facility is equipped with the latest in video-conferencing technology and audio systems. A registry for the courts, a law library, interview rooms, judge's chambers and a secure area for Sheriff's Officers are also present. As well, the public will be able to avail of many services such as payment of fines and issuance of support orders in the new facility.

"Today is a proud day for the City of Corner Brook as we officially open the Corner Brook Law Courts," said the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and MHA for Humber West. "Early into our mandate, our government recognized the need for a modern courthouse which addressed the continuing growth of the west coast region of the province. Our investment of $21 million into this significant infrastructure project achieves that goal. Strategically located in proximity to other important centres in Corner Brook and people who most often use the courts, this beautiful new and modern facility is one in which we should all take great pride."

The Corner Brook Law Courts uses energy efficient lighting and windows, occupancy sensors, hands-free faucets and ground-source, water-to-water and water-to-air heat pumps. The building is accessible for individuals with physical disabilities that affect mobility and includes a courtroom designed to conduct a trial which accommodates such needs.

Construction of the courthouse included the use of material from Newfoundland and Labrador, a demonstration of the strength of not only the province's resources, but its people. Notably, Newfoundland slate quarried from Burgoyne's Cove, Trinity Bay has been used extensively in the roof and fine-grained sandstone quarried near Pynn's Brook has been used for the first-floor stone cladding.

"Courthouses are important symbols of the social stability of our communities," said Chief Justice Green. "The Corner Brook Law Courts provides a modern facility for the administration of justice, a positive work environment for all employees of the courts and a welcoming atmosphere for those who need to access court services. I am pleased to have participated in today's ceremonies which recognized the true importance of this new facility."

"As Member of the House of Assembly for Humber East I am proud to take part in this announcement today and officially welcome the new Corner Brook Law Courts into the fabric of the city," said Minister Marshall. "Since the announcement of planning for a new facility in 2005, the people of western Newfoundland have awaited this moment. Today is the culmination of much hard work and dedication by not only the Williams Government, but the entire community. We are all proud of this beautiful new courthouse for Corner Brook and western Newfoundland which will stand as a symbol of civic pride, democracy and the rule of law."

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Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Andrea Nolan
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991
Ken Morrissey
Director of Communications
Department of Justice
709-729-6985, 685-6612
Larry Wells
Executive Assistant to
Hon. Tom Marshall
District of Humber East
709-729-3811, 632-9634
Chris Curran
Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador
Pamela Ryder-Lahey
Director of Court Services
Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

2010 05 03                                                      9:40 a.m.

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