Supreme Court | Chief Justice Wagner calls for more security

(OTTAWA) Chief Justice Richard Wagner wants the recent sanitation protests on Parliament Hill and their implications to lead to more security at the building of the country’s highest court.

Posted at 12:06 p.m
Updated at 4:26 p.m

Emily Bergeron
The Canadian Press

“I dare to hope that the recent events that we have witnessed (last winter) will lead the authorities to view the Supreme Court of Canada as a building that is nonetheless fundamental and that needs to be protected,” he said he held his traditional annual press conference on Thursday.

Richard Wagner mentioned that he has been asking for the Supreme Court of Canada building, which is a few blocks from the Houses of Parliament, to be part of the “supplementary protection zone”.

Despite pointing out that security on Parliament Hill has been tightened since the October 2014 attack, the Chief Justice said he felt the measures taken were inadequate in relation to the institution’s facilities for which he is responsible be. In his opinion, the headquarters of the country’s highest court is “a bit of a stepchild” in this regard.

“Anytime elected officials and agencies set policies and programs, I don’t think the Supreme Court of Canada should be ignored,” he added, noting that he believes security issues are being taken seriously by these stakeholders.

The Chief Justice reiterated that it was his duty to engage in what he described as a concerted effort by the various agencies to ensure the population had access to reliable information and better education about the justice system.

“I think misinformation is part of the explanation for what we experienced here in Ottawa last winter. It just confirms my opinion that we all have a responsibility to give the right information,” he stressed.

Richard Wagner continued to describe the underfunding of the courts as “unacceptable”. While agreeing that some improvements had been made to the system since Jordan’s decision on court delays, he insisted there was still work to be done.

“The administration of justice is bound to the regional courts – I don’t want to get involved in a political debate – but I still see that judges are not being given all the resources they need to carry out their duties and that worries me. »

As an example, he cited the annual salaries of paralegals, which fluctuate between $30,000 and $35,000, and the partial shortage of clerks, which has led to delays in court proceedings.

“The situation hasn’t necessarily gotten worse since then (after the Jordan ruling), but we have to stay alert,” he said.

This 2016 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada sets a maximum limit of 18 months for provincial courts and 30 months for higher courts.

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