Simply put Merritt needs a new courthouse. The reasons are plentiful but number one is safety. Mayor Linda Brown spoke with Q101 about the issues with the current setup.
“The one we have is too small. What we have is the possibility of accuser and preparator in the same room at the same time just before they go in to present their case,” said Brown.
“Safety is a big thing. We’re not even touching on procedural fairness up there, we're just talking about safety for our locals,” added Brown.
Brown did mention that Attorney General David Ebby toured the facility with the previous council.
“He said definitely, he said you need a new courthouse. So, he’s on board with it. But we haven’t made any plans since then,” said Brown.
The Mayor did caution that just because the Attorney General is in favour doesn’t mean the provincial dollars follow.
“There is also a first nation, aboriginal court as well, maybe there’s potential to come together. We’re not there yet, we haven’t even started the negotiations. I don’t even know if it’s appropriate to bring them together, but it would be nice to look at the issue,” said Brown.
She mentioned how the next step could be to have staff draft a report on the issue and looking at possible locations and buildings that could house the new courthouse.
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