Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Concern with backlog in provincial courts

By Randy Thoms Apr 2, 2024 | 2:38 PM

Concern is being expressed about the time it takes Ontario’s courts to deal with cases.

Provincial cases are supposed to go to trial within 18 months, within 30 months for federal cases.

Members of the legal community say that is not happening, and cases are often tossed out of court for failing to meet the deadlines.

Lawyer Robert Rothenberg says courtrooms do not have the resources available to them.

“Cases are being tossed not for valid reasons but simply because there is not enough equipment. There are not enough courthouses,” says Rothenberg.

Rothenberg is disappointed the provincial budget made no mention of measures to address the court backlog.

“I think the governments are afraid to invest in the justice system because it’s only about bad people. But it’s not about bad people. It’s about everyone. It’s about jurors. It’s about the people who work in the system. And mostly, it’s about common citizens who need their day in court, and they’re deprived of it because we have not properly funded the justice system.”

NDP critic Kristyn Wong-Tam says the underfunding and understaffing of the court system has been an issue long expressed by the union representing most court workers.

“Everyone has put up their hand, rung the bell, raised the sirens, and told the government that they’ve got to address this,” says Wong-Tam.

Wong-Tam says the government’s “tough on crime” stance means nothing if the courts continue to be understaffed and cases are tossed out.