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N.B. to review closure of 2 courthouses

By Brad Perry Apr 28, 2024 | 6:00 AM

New Brunswick has confirmed it will review a decision to close two courthouses in northeastern New Brunswick.

Attorney General Ted Flemming said the province will also appeal a court decision that ordered it to reconsider the closures.

Flemming said elements of a recent Court of King’s Bench ruling “could have much broader implications on future government decisions” if left unchallenged.

In Nov. 2021, the Higgs government announced it would close the Caraquet and Tracadie courthouses and redirect cases to Bathurst.

At the time, Flemming said the changes would allow the province to make the best use of available resources given the current volume of cases.

However, in a decision released on March 28, Justice Christa Bourque said the government ignored the linguistic impact on the area, which is largely francophone.

“Government remains committed to promoting the equality of status, equal rights and privileges of all citizens who have the constitutional right to use the official language of their choice, in all government of New Brunswick institutions, including courts,” Flemming said in a statement on Friday.

“The Bathurst Law Courts continues to hear matters in both official languages, in civil, family and criminal matters.”

Flemming stood by his government’s decision to consolidate court services, claiming the decision has had “positive effects” on the region.

The attorney general said the results of the review will be made public. No timeline was given for how long it would take.