Justice and Public Safety
March 7, 2018

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety:

Minister Parsons Acknowledges Success of Labrador Justice Summit and Announces Next Summit in Corner Brook

Mr. Speaker, on March 16 the Department of Justice and Public Safety will host its third justice summit. Similar to the previous summits held in St. John’s and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the upcoming event in Corner Brook will bring together key players in the criminal justice system to identify issues and determine possible solutions and action plans for improvements.

Mr. Speaker, I believe our justice summit in Corner Brook will be just as informative as the previous summits we have hosted and I am really looking forward to hearing what my colleagues on the west coast have to say about how we can make our justice system stronger.

Having such a diverse group of frontline and management justice employees in the same room, including the judiciary, police, mental health advocates, representatives of Indigenous organizations, staff from various justice and public safety divisions as well as other community members, is crucial to addressing the challenges we currently face.

To directly hear about the experiences these people have working in the justice system in our province has been enlightening. While the views expressed and experiences described are often different, they are all connected. Mr. Speaker, I believe we can all work together to make the justice system in Newfoundland and Labrador stronger by examining it through these different perspectives.

In St. John’s, participants discussed underlying issues with offenders, lack of alternative processes, and court-related delays.

In Happy Valley-Goose Bay, participants discussed lack of alternatives to the current criminal justice system, delays within the courts, and recruitment and retention of staff.

Also, at our summit in Happy Valley-Goose Bay last fall we were fortunate to welcome the Honourable Justice Malcolm Rowe, Newfoundland and Labrador’s first Justice named to the Supreme Court of Canada, to participate in the discussion. The results from that summit will be available on our website in the very near future and people can see what was discussed and the issues identified by participants.

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we continue these conversations on how our work is connected and how we can better cooperate to improve the justice system. These constructive dialogues will inform us as we determine the most efficient policies and practices moving forward.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker

2018 03 07                              2:20 p.m.