Justice and Public Safety
July 22, 2016
Ensuring Continued Access to Justice
Supreme Court of Canada Decision and Cost Savings Mean Provincial Courts Will Remain Open
The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General, today announced that as a result of the decision on July 8, 2016 by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of R. v. Jordan and new cost savings, Provincial Court locations in Harbour Grace and Wabush will remain open.
R. v. Jordan establishes a ceiling for the time permitted to conclude criminal cases and has prosecution services across Canada working to determine how to adapt future practices to avoid stays of proceedings in criminal cases.
"R. v. Jordan is one of the most significant criminal Supreme Court of Canada decisions in years, effectively placing new limits on the time for which criminal cases must go to trial. Given this decision, Harbour Grace and Wabush courts will remain open as we recognize it is critical to the administration of justice to avoid the possibility of placing any additional pressures on the courts that were designated to absorb the caseloads."
- The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General
The Department of Justice and Public Safety has been working closely with municipalities and stakeholders in Harbour Grace, Wabush and Labrador City to identify solutions which would allow the two courts to remain open. Additional savings have been identified in Harbour Grace with the cost of housing the Provincial Court being reduced by approximately $100,000 annually.
"Through cooperation and productive discussions with government, the Town of Harbour Grace was able to contribute to a viable solution to ensure court services will continue. We appreciate government's commitment to seeking a positive outcome."
- Terry Barnes, Mayor of Harbour Grace
The Provincial Government has maintained that it would keep the courts open if it could find a solution to do so.
"The Town of Wabush is very pleased that government has listened to the voice of the people and has worked with us to ensure the people of this region continue to receive appropriate court services."
- Colin Vardy, Mayor of Wabush
Minister Parsons took the opportunity today to thank municipalities and stakeholders from all regions for their perseverance and commitment to working with government to identify options to effectively allow Provincial Court centres in Harbour Grace and Wabush to remain open.
"This decision to allow the courts to remain open demonstrates that successful outcomes can be achieved when all parties work together towards a common goal."
- Karen Oldford, Mayor of Labrador City
Officials with Justice and Public Safety will work closely with the Provincial Court to make the transition of files back to Harbour Grace and Wabush as seamless as possible.
- Provincial Court locations in Harbour Grace and Wabush will remain open.
- A decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of R. v. Jordan to limit the time for concluding criminal cases in courts across Canada has contributed to this decision.
- The Provincial Government has also worked closely with municipalities and stakeholders in Harbour Grace, Wabush and Labrador City to identify solutions which would allow the two courts to remain open.
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Director of Communications
Department of Justice and Public Safety
Mayor of Harbour Grace
Mayor of Wabush
Mayor of Labrador City
2016 07 22 1:15 p.m.