Courthouse in Victoria is one of the regional courts hearing criminal cases. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. joins national effort to deal with COVID-19 court backups

Most B.C. courts suspended operations in March

B.C. Attorney General David Eby has been appointed to a federal committee chaired by Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner to make a path out of the suspension of courtroom proceedings due to COVID-19.

“The committee will focus primarily on the immediate need to restore and stabilize court operations, including the resumption of in-person judicial processes and hearings,” Eby’s ministry said in a statement May 8.

For civil and family court cases, limitation periods were suspended March 27 for Provincial Court, B.C. Supreme Court and B.C. Court of Appeal actions. Provincial court updated its directive April 28, saying people are “strongly discouraged” from attending courthouses in person, with proceedings by audio or videoconference.

RELATED: Civil court time limitations suspended in COVID-19

RELATED: Video hearings in demand for courts, David Eby says

Provincial courts are now dealing with urgent child protection cases and criminal trials and bail hearings for people in custody, public health and safety matters, and other cases determined by judges.

For criminal cases, the province established regional courts in Surrey, Kelowna, Prince George, Vancouver and Victoria.

Eby told The Canadian Press April 24 that video conferencing systems are being put into use for Court of Appeal hearings, and a judicial inquiry into money laundering due to start this year.

Eby has appointed two advisory bodies for the provincial court system, one chaired by former deputy attorney general Allan Seckel that includes former Supreme Court of Canada chief justice Beverley McLachlin.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A stand in solidarity against racism and discrimination

A diverse crowd led by youth marched from Cranbrook’s Spirit Square in… Continue reading

Letters to the Editor

Performing Arts Festival postponed; Wildfire protection; Understanding in the world today

Local photographer raises over $5,000 for Cranbrook Food Bank

Damien Vincent raised the money through his version of the Front Porch Family Photo project

PHOTOS: Momma black bear and cubs spotted in Townsite

A momma black bear and her two cubs, spotted getting near The… Continue reading

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read