Red Deer will finally get a bigger new courthouse

City officials celebrate getting the go-ahead to plan and build in the 2017 Alberta budget

Mayor Tara Veer is thrilled Red Deer will finally get a larger new courthouse after being promised $97-million over four years for the project in the 2017 Alberta budget.

“This is great news for Red Deer! We’ve waiting four or five years for this,” said Veer, who attended Thursday’s budget announcement in Edmonton.

The first $25-million will be granted in 2017-18 for project planning. Veer noted the City of Red Deer has been holding the former downtown Red Deer RCMP building property as a potential site, with further discussions needed on its suitability.

Red Deer City Council has been lobbying for a new courthouse, with help from Crown prosecutors, police and other partners. Municipal leaders have argued there’s a huge need in this growing city — with a local crime rate comparable to Edmonton and Calgary’s — to speed up legal processes and look after the safety and security of citizens.

Veronica Jubinville, press secretary for the Alberta Justice Minister, said a new courthouse for Red Deer “was a very high priority,” since the NDP government had noted local traffic court was held in a city hotel because of overcrowding in the existing court building. “The Red Deer community has been clamoring for this for years,” she added.

Veer believes the project also got green lighted because of the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling last summer, known as the Jordan decision. It set stricter timelines for criminal cases. Except in exceptional circumstances, trials must now happen within 18 months in provincial courts and 30 months in Alberta Queen’s Bench.

While it will take at least four years to get the larger new courthouse built, Veer believes a recent government decision to hire more Crown prosecutors should help keep criminal cases moving in the meantime.

“It’s excellent news — long overdue,” said Councillor Paul Harris, who noted a larger new courthouse will mean more cases can be heard, and more charges potentially upheld. He added a backlog of court cases need to get before judges in a timely manner.

Red Deer City Councillors were also pleased that stability in municipal funding from the province was maintained — which means they will not have to revisit the recently approved municipal budget.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Judge allows Mr. Big evidence in murder trial

Two men accused of triple-murder admitted their involvement to undercover police

Red Deer agency supporting for LGBTQ2S+ youth

New report on LGBTQ2S+ youth from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

Four people arrested after gas and dash

Four people were arrested after an alleged gas and dash in two… Continue reading

Arrests made at Red Deer Rebels game

Charges pending against two people

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train to stop in Ponoka for another year

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month