MP Cooper calls on Justice Minister to Immediately Fill Judicial Vacancies in Wake of Alberta 1st Degree Murder Charge being Thrown-out due to Delay
ST. ALBERT, AB, October 12, 2016 – MP Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton), the Conservative Party Deputy Justice Critic, is calling on the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, to immediately fill dozens of judicial vacancies, including at least nine vacancies on Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench. Last Friday, October 7th, in Edmonton, a 1st degree murder charge against Lance Matthew Regan was stayed due to an estimated 62.5 month delay between the time of the initial charge and the expected conclusion of the trial.
“The Minister of Justice has not taken filling judicial vacancies seriously,” said Cooper, who since last spring has repeatedly pressed the Minister in the House of Commons to fill dozens of judicial vacancies across Canada.
“The Minister waited until June, eight months into her job, before filling a handful of vacancies. Since then, the Minister has not made any appointments. There are still dozens of vacancies across Canada, including at least nine Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench vacancies. As a result of the Minister’s inaction, serious criminal cases, including a major fraud case in Red Deer have been thrown-out due to delay. Now a case involving the most serious charge in the Criminal Code, 1st degree murder, has been thrown-out.”
“It’s time for the Minister to stop talking about appointing judges and actually get around to appointing judges. Otherwise, thousands of cases across Canada could be thrown-out due to delay. The need for action from the Minister is particularly acute, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent Jordan decision, which presumes unreasonable delay, and the consequent staying of criminal proceedings, if the conclusion of a trial is longer than the timetable established by the Court.”
For further information, media may contact:
Office of Michael Cooper, M.P.