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Regional Council Calling on Province to Postpone, not Cancel Courthouse in Halton

Halton Regional Centre / Halton Regional Council
Halton Regional Centre / Halton Regional Council

*UPDATE: Burlington City Council unanimously passed a similar resolution on this item at its May 25, 2020 Council meeting. Please click the link to read the City of Burlington resolution on Cancellation of Halton Consolidated Courthouse Project.

**Please see below a media release issued by the Region of Halton.

The Regional Municipality of Halton
For Immediate Release
May 20, 2020

Earlier today, Halton Regional Council unanimously endorsed a resolution asking the Provincial Government to postpone, rather than cancel, the Halton Consolidated Courthouse project. The new courthouse was expected to replace aging courthouses in Milton and Burlington which have experienced ongoing resourcing and security issues. It also would have brought much needed economic stimulus to Halton along with approximately 600 jobs. Council feels strongly that the shovel-ready project is critical to post-COVID-19 recovery of the local economy and it is ideal as a federal-provincial infrastructure stimulus project.

“Halton Region along with Halton Regional Police Service and other key stakeholders in the justice system have strongly supported the position that the Milton and Burlington courthouses are unable to serve the needs of residents in our community and that without question, both need to be replaced. We fully recognize the financial challenges facing the Provincial Government as a result of the pandemic but are asking them to postpone this project, not cancel it, based on the critical services it would provide to our community and the impact on our Regional economy.” — Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr

This has been a long standing advocacy issue for Halton, in 2015 Council passed a resolution urging the Provincial Government to proceed with a new courthouse in Halton. The new facility would bring the Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice operations in Milton and Burlington together in one state of the art, accessible and efficient facility in Oakville.

The conditions of the courthouse facilities have long been a source of concern for many in Halton. Both the Milton and Burlington courthouses do not have enough functional courtrooms and lack resources. Halton Police Chief Steven Tanner has stated that the Milton courthouse is “dangerous and is considered beyond repair and beyond renovation.”

The Honourable Geoffrey B. Morawetz Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice has acknowledged that the cancellation of the Halton Consolidated Courthouse Project is an access to justice issue and underscores the overall lack of functional courtrooms in the Central West Region.

With today’s Council resolution, Halton Regional Council is adding their voices to call on the Provincial Government to reconsider their decision. The Province has already invested a significant amount of money in the project which was already in the procurement stage. It is the hope of Regional Council that with enough community pressure, construction of the Halton Consolidated Courthouse could go ahead at some point in the future. To view the full Council resolution, visit halton.ca to access the agenda package for the May 20 Council meeting.

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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