Alberta to get more judges ‘in due course’

The federal government says more appointments will be made to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench “in due course.”

The federal government says more appointments will be made to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench “in due course.”

The response to an Advocate query, an email from Justice Canada, comes a day after charges were stayed in a home invasion case when a Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench justice ruled that the accused had been denied due process because it took 27 months for the case to get to trial.

On Tuesday morning, Clarissa Lamb, spokesperson for Justice Minister Peter McKay, said the government has made more than 600 judicial appointments since 2006.

“In Economic Action Plan 2014, our government committed to the creation of two federally appointed judicial positions in Alberta,” she wrote in an email.

“Appointments will be made in due course,” Lamb said in another email later Tuesday.

“These additional positions will reduce delays to ensure that cases are heard in a timely matter and that serious charges are not dropped because of hearing delays.”

Alberta Justice said on Monday the province needs 12 more Queen’s Bench justices to have the same number per capita as B.C.

Justice Canada has appointed six Alberta Queen’s Bench justices in 2014, according to its website. Two of those appointments were replacements for justices who had been appointed to the Alberta Court of Appeal and one was for a justice who had died. The other three appointments were replacements for justices who had chosen to become supernumerary or part-time judges. While three justices went part time, three new justices were appointed to full-time positions.

Justice John Little replaced Justice Colleen Kelly, who chose to become a supernumerary judge in May. That Queen’s Bench position was based in Calgary, but was transferred to Red Deer on May 12, 2014, giving the Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench its third justice.

According to Alberta Justice, the province has the fewest Queen’s Bench justices per capita in the country with about one justice per 61,925 people.

“In order for Alberta to be on par with the next lowest jurisdiction — B.C. — the federal government would have to appoint an additional 12 judges,” read a statement from Josh Stewart, press secretary for Alberta Justice Minster Jonathan Denis.

Home invasion charges against three individuals were stayed Monday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench by Justice Monica Bast. Originally arrested in May 2012, it took 27-and-a-half months for their trial to start. When it did, defence counsel made an application for a stay of proceedings because of the length of time it had taken. That motion was granted.

Outside of court, defence counsel said the delay was because of a lack of justices.

The matter had been set for trial in October 2013. However, it was double-booked with another trial and the home invasion case needed to find a new day.

A stay of proceedings means the accused are no longer being prosecuted. The Crown has a year to file an appeal to get the charges brought back.

Home invasion charges can result in up to a 10-year sentence.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Patrons practice on a putting green as the Whitestone Bridge looms in the distance at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Former President Donald Trump has a rich history of fighting back when he’s down and making others pay, and that’s exactly how he intends to deal with New York City over its plans to fire his company from running the city golf course. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dump Trump? Kicking him off NYC golf course may not be easy

Trump Organization has been reeling after the Capitol riots

A photo illustration made December 14, 2012 in Montreal shows a computer in chains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Irish health system says it’s targeted in ransomware attack

Health care systems have been a target before

A woman wearing a mask talks on her phone near an exhibition depicting a rover in Mars in Beijing on Friday, May 14, 2021. China says its Mars probe and accompanying rover are to land on the red planet sometime between early Saturday morning and Wednesday Beijing time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
China Mars rover to land between Saturday and Wednesday

Only the United States has successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Weary Palestinians are somberly marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as Hamas and Israel traded more rockets and airstrikes and Jewish-Arab violence raged across Israel. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians flee as Israeli artillery pounds northern Gaza

Israel called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Team Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan talks with players before the start of the of the Rivalry Series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2020. Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., has been named head coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Troy Ryan to coach Canadian women’s hockey team in 2022 Winter Olympics

Ryan was Canada’s assistant coach from 2016 to 2019

FILE- In this April 19, 2021, file photo, people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait to test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad, India. Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)
Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

Distrust of Western vaccines and health care also driving misinformation

FILE - In this Friday March 6, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry visits the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England. In an episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast broadcast Thursday, May 13, 2021, Prince Harry compared his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Prince Harry thought about quitting royal life in his 20s

Feared his family would have to deal with the same spotlight that was on his late mother

Opinion
Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, right, drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch, left, and guard Jalen Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

LaVine, Markkanen lead Bulls past Raptors, 114-102

Most Read