Quebec earmarks $9 million more to fight court delays
Published Tuesday, June 20, 2017 6:30PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:21PM EDT
Quebec’s justice minister announced more money will be earmarked for the province’s plan to reduce court delays on Tuesday but called on the federal government to speed up efforts on its end.
Stephanie Vallée said the province is investing an additional $9 million into its efforts, which will be used to hire 20 new legal aid lawyers and new support staff employees.
Last fall, Vallée announced a $175 million plan to reduce wait times, spurred by a Supreme Court of Canada ruling setting strict time limits, meant to ensure trials begin in a reasonable amount of time. The guidelines handed out in the now-famous Jordan ruling said trials must begin within 18 months in provincial court and 30 months in Superior Court.
Since that ruling, three men in Quebec who were accused of murder have been allowed to walk free due to delays.
Quebec has hired 16 new provincial court judges but is still waiting for Ottawa to name 10 others – eight for Superior Court and another two for the Appeals Court.
“I’m once again pleading that the additional resources be appointed by my federal counterpart,” said Vallée. “It’s important, it’s really going to be a game-changer, especially in Montreal and western Quebec.”