Group seeks unanimous support for courthouse

The Attorney General’s Office is next on the list for a local group pushing the province to build a bigger courthouse in Red Deer. Government and opposition MLAs from throughout Central Alberta met on Friday morning with three local leaders at the centre of a plan that includes a land swap with the City of Red Deer.

The Attorney General’s Office is next on the list for a local group pushing the province to build a bigger courthouse in Red Deer.

Government and opposition MLAs from throughout Central Alberta met on Friday morning with three local leaders at the centre of a plan that includes a land swap with the City of Red Deer.

Former Court of Queen’s Bench justice Jim Foster, who retired from the bench in April, has been working with Brent Handel, president of the Central Alberta Bar Association, and Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling on a plan that would see the province build a new courthouse on the former RCMP site while the existing courthouse would be converted to office space for the city.

People who live throughout Central Alberta are already feeling the impact of crowding in the Red Deer courthouse, said Foster, also a former Red Deer MLA who served as attorney general in Peter Lougheed’s government.

Children are being harmed by long delays in family court, which has reached the point where it is now part of the problem rather than the solution, he said.

Foster anticipates that some services available in the Red Deer Courthouse, including traffic court, transcription services and the Crown prosecutors’ office, will have to be moved into other buildings to make more space for family and criminal court at the existing building.

Foster, Flewwelling and Handel presented a proposal on Friday morning to Red Deer MLAs Mary Anne Jablonski and Cal Dallas, as well as opposition MLAs Rick Strankman, Rod Fox, Kerry Towle, Joe Anglin and Bruce Rowe.

A similar meeting was held late in summer with reeves and mayors of municipalities throughout the region.

Foster said his group needs unanimous support of local politicians before making a presentation to Attorney General Jonathan Denis, with whom they hope to meet in January.

However, they are not going to ask for a meeting until they know that all of the MLAs are on board and that the issue will not become a political football, said Foster.

The opposition MLAs called to meet on Friday told the group that they cannot take a position before taking the information back to their own caucus, he said.

Dallas, Red Deer South MLA and International and Intergovernmental minister in Premier Alison Redford’s cabinet, said he and Jablonski, Red Deer North MLA, are familiar with the issues facing the courthouse in Red Deer.

Dallas said that while he and Jablonski understand the problem, he is not in a position to endorse any particular option.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The RDC Queens picked up an extra special victory on home ice… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read