St. Albert, AB (April 4, 2018) – Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton), Deputy Shadow Minister for Justice and the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, say that the Minister of Justice’s appointment today of a single judge to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench confirms that Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are merely paying lip service to filling judicial vacancies. Yesterday, Cooper and Rempel held a press conference to launch an official online Parliamentary petition, sponsored by Scott Hamilton who is related to alleged murder victims Sara Baillie and Taliyah Marsman calling on the Minister of Justice to immediately fill the large number of judicial vacancies in Alberta and across Canada. During the news conference, reporters were told by the Office of the Minister of Justice that multiple appointments to fill judicial vacancies in Alberta would be made today.
“After promising to immediately fill multiple Alberta vacancies, the Minister’s announcement of a single judge is a bad joke. With more than a dozen vacancies, the appointment of a single judge doesn’t even begin to address the backlog in our courts, which has reached a crisis point. Today’s announcement demonstrates once again that the Liberals do not take seriously the need to fill these vacancies; this as serious criminal cases continue to be thrown-out of court due to delay. The Liberals continue to pay lip service to filling the vacancies. But when it comes to actually filling them, they can’t get it done,” said Cooper.
“Last week, the Minister introduced Bill C-75 purportedly to stem the delay in Canada’s courts; a Bill that actually re-introduces three older Bills that the Liberals have failed to move forward. For a government that can’t even manage their own legislative process, it’s fair to ask how can they be trusted to make Canada’s justice system more efficient. Whether it’s justice legislation or judicial appointments, this government can’t get anything accomplished on the justice file. We need a government that actually cares about keeping our streets and communities safe,” said Cooper.
“Yesterday during the Hamilton family press conference, reporters were told by the Minister of Justice that appointments, plural, would be made today. Today’s appointment of a singular judge in Alberta while so many vacancies remain empty shows that this was a feckless attempt to derail a call from the public to prevent delays of justice for victims. It also shows that the Minister has nothing in the works in terms of more vacancies – if she did, why not announce them all today? She should be ashamed of herself. While she enjoys her taxpayer funded trip to Morocco,
Conservatives will continue to hold her to account,” said Rempel. “A singular judicial appointment after a 16 month wait when there are 14 vacancies in Alberta? Simply put, that’s not good enough! Today’s news comes as a bitter disappointment to the families of Sara and Taliyah and we frankly expected better from Justin Trudeau,” said Hamilton.
For more information, please contact:
Office of Michael Cooper
Office of Hon. Michelle Rempel