ontario news watch

Justice minister lays blame on Quebec court for cases being dropped in north

SAGUENAY, Que. — Quebec’s justice minister is blaming the provincial court for procedural delays that have led to scores of criminal cases being dropped in the province’s north.

Simon Jolin-Barrette was responding today to a report in Montreal’s La Presse that 126 cases have been dropped since March in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nunavik regions.

Jolin-Barrette told reporters on the sidelines of a Coalition Avenir Québec caucus retreat that he is unhappy with the situation.

That’s because he says he has worked to increase the number of judges and resources provided to Quebec court.

The justice minister said the co-ordinating judge overseeing the northern districts has considerably reduced the number of days set aside for hearings compared to the previous year.

Jolin-Barrette notes there are 319 judges who sit on the Quebec court and says those who manage the tribunal should call for reinforcements from other regions to help colleagues in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nunavik.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2023.

The Canadian Press