May 15, 2007
For Immediate Release

Victims of Justice: Another McGuinty Legacy

(Queen's Park) York Region MPP Frank Klees today blamed the McGuinty government for the growing number of people whom he describes as "victims of justice."

Klees raised the issue of an under-resourced court system that leaves hundreds of police officers idle, cancels court proceedings, leaves scheduled witnesses frustrated, and robs citizens of their day in court.

"In York Region alone, over a five day period, 2 courts were cancelled, cases involving 115 charges could not be heard, 43 civilian witnesses had to be rescheduled and 25 officers were scheduled to appear at what turned out to be a court without a judge – all this due to a shortage of Justices of the Peace and an under-funded justice system," said Klees. " When you consider that for every one of these cases, there are legal fees, lost wages and travel expenses - not to mention the frustration and personal trauma of those subjected to these conditions - these people are not only victims of crime, they are also 'victims of justice!'"

Klees called on the Attorney General to immediately appoint the necessary number of Justices of the Peace and to provide the funding required to ensure court administrators can cope with the pressures of York Region's growing caseload. He pointed out that there are now fewer Justices of the Peace to hear cases in the Newmarket court than when the McGuinty Liberals took office three and half years ago, despite a spike in caseload of 46%.

"It's all fine and good for government to pass new laws and pronounce stricter penalties and longer jail terms, but if we can't ensure timely access to justice, our justice system fails the very people it's intended to serve," said Klees. "The inaction of the McGuinty government on this issue is a serious concern."

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For further information

Frank Klees, MPP

416-325-7316

http://www.frank-klees.on.ca/CurrentIssues/Justice.html

 

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