By Chad Ingram
Published July 19 2018
Provincial offences court proceedings which were suspended in Minden as of July 1 2017 should resume early next year.
Back in March of 2017 it was announced that due to a shortage of justices of the peace in the Central East Region of which Haliburton County is part proceedings would be suspended at the Minden courthouse for a year from July 1 2017 to July 1 2018.
“This shortage is mainly due to the fact that the Ministry [of the Attorney General] has not been replacing justices of the peace on a regular basis when they retire or are unable to work” read correspondence from City of Kawartha Lakes court services manager Karen Dunn at the time. “In Central East we should have a complement of 48 full time presiding justices of the peace; however at present we have 11 vacancies and three off on long-term disability.”
While proceedings have not yet resumed at the Minden court Dunn told the paper last week that new JPs have been hired and are undergoing a training process that takes about a year.
“We are reviewing it” Dunn said. “We are off to a slower start than we’d hoped.”
Eight justices of the peace have been hired for Central East Region.
“We do have the full complement” said Dunn.
Provincial offences include traffic act violations infractions of municipal bylaws and charges laid under legislation such as the Environmental Protection Act Occupational Health and Safety Act and Trespass to Property Act.
Dunn was asked if the new provincial government may have some effect on the process.
Premier Doug Ford has recently cancelled programs and reversed directives enacted under the Wynne government.
Dunn said she couldn’t speak to what impact the new government might have but said “I haven’t heard anything.”