Alberta appoints 5 judges, still seeking to fill prosecutor slots

Alberta to get more judges in an effort to address delays
It's a constitutional right to have a trial within a reasonable amount of time. But here in Alberta, delays have been common because of a lack of judges. On Friday, some much-needed help was announced. Vinesh Pratap has more.

Alberta’s justice minister says the government has hired five new provincial court judges and is continuing work to get new Crown prosecutors in place.

READ MORE: Alberta lawyers’ group applauds new legal aid money in NDP budget, says it will address ‘serious problems’ 

Kathleen Ganley says four of the judge positions were created in the last budget, while the fifth was a vacancy.

The province has also filled eight of 20 new Crown prosecutor positions.

READ MORE: Alberta defence lawyers demanding boost to ‘neglected and degraded’ Legal Aid

Ten of those spots are dedicated to addressing a rise in rural crime, and Ganley says four of those jobs have been filled.

READ MORE: Alberta announces $10M, 39 RCMP officer positions, to fight rural crime

Ganley says it takes time to hire the prosecutors, noting that there are barriers to getting jobs filled in rural areas.

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The province has also hired three new medical examiners in Calgary to replace recent departures.