There are few things more important for a government to deliver its people then swift and impartial justice. Unfortunately, the provincial government continues to fail in providing this crucial service to the people of Labrador, with no clear solution or relief for the current overloaded system.
Until recently, there were three Crown attorneys in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, when there are usually five. Worse yet, all three will have vacated their positions within the next six months, with the senior Crown attorney already having transferred, and the remaining two having given their notice.
The justice system in Labrador is already facing a serious resource deficit, and these vacancies will result in an ever-increasing, massive backlog of an already huge caseload.
Without proper representation, cases in the region will continue to be delayed from seeing trial. Some of these cases involve truly grave crimes, such as sexual assault. While the government struggles to fill these vacancies the victims are given no peace, and no sense of justice being served.
Labrador is used to being an afterthought in this government’s decision making; this was evident in the lack of announcements for Labrador in the recent provincial budget.
While the government committed five new RCMP officers for all of Labrador, they did not dedicate any funding to help with the backlog of cases and heavy workload for justice officials.
Instead, the Attorney General has repeatedly indicated that he is happy with how the justice system in Labrador is working. This is a true affront to the victims of crime who are far from happy.
Even officials within the system are going public with just how dismal the situation is; in some cases calling it a crisis.
The government has a moral obligation to victims of crime to offer them swift and fair justice, regardless of geography or bureaucratic bungling. Instead, this government continues to deny Labradorians even that.
— Randy Edmunds is the Liberal MHA for the district of Torngat Mountains