In response to a recent Law Times article (see “CDLPA head worried about northern Ontario justice system,” April 8), let me say I have less to complain about than most citizens of Sudbury, Ont. From my office, although I have not tried, I can hit every window on the street side of the main courthouse and the jail is only 15 metres further away. I am more convenienced than most of the bar.
However, courts are held in three buildings within a two-kilometre area. Crown attorneys and prosecutors have their offices in those three plus one other. Geography makes good use of their time possible.
It is not just defence counsel who are inconvenienced. Judges and justices of the peace are in the same two-kilometre setting travelling from courtroom to courtroom, office to office. Police witnesses are often required in two settings at the same time. Witnesses are often lost between buildings. Court officials and reporters do not escape the geography.
When I travel to attend court, in at least two instances, new courthouses have been replaced with newer courthouses. Not so here.
I have sat in court in churches, legion halls, arenas, furniture stores, municipal council chambers, and once on the lawn of a courthouse. Thus, I congratulate myself on being flexible. However, I, like all of the participants in the justice system in Sudbury, waste hours each and every week.
Land is presently owned by the province and already three sets of plans have been circulated. While I am only 80, I do fear I shall not see the dire need of unified premises met in my lifetime.
Conroy Trebb Scott
Hurtubise LLP, Sudbury