(Queen’s Park) – Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott has written an open letter to the Attorney General, as he continues to push for a new Halton Courthouse.
In his letter, which he personally gave to Attorney General Yasir Naqvi in the Legislature after Question Period on May 30, Mr. Arnott once again made the case for the new Courthouse.
“This new Courthouse is needed because of the poor condition of the existing facility in Milton,” Mr. Arnott wrote. “The current Courthouse is aging, overcrowded, and simply inadequate to meet the growing needs of our community.”
Mr. Arnott pointed out the implications of the tremendous population growth that has taken place in Halton Region in recent years.
“The Region of Halton is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada. However, our court facilities have not kept pace with the booming population,” Mr. Arnott observed. “Our current Courthouse was built in 1962 when the population of the Region of Halton was 190,000. While there was an addition in 1979, the population of Halton Region has grown exponentially since then. It is forecast to grow to more than 620,000 by 2021 and is expected to exceed one million by 2041.”
“Our current Courthouse simply wasn’t designed to serve such a large population,” he continued. “As a result, there have been examples where criminal cases have been thrown out of court because it has taken too long for them to get to trial.”
Mr. Arnott has been working closely with Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, Regional Council, local lawyers, and other Courthouse users to bring attention to the problem and urge the Government to approve the project.
Since he first visited the existing Courthouse in September 2014, Mr. Arnott has raised the matter on numerous occasions in the Legislature, and repeatedly written and spoken to successive Attorneys General. He has sought to work with the other Halton-area MPPs, and even arranged to have local lawyer Paul Stunt meet with the former Attorney General to discuss the situation.
“Both you and your predecessor have repeatedly promised us that a new Halton Courthouse is a top priority for your Ministry,” Mr. Arnott wrote. “When I raised this issue in Question Period on March 23, you said: ‘I assure the Member opposite…this is our top priority and we will get it done.’”
“However, despite these assurances we are still waiting,” he continued. “I urge you to visit the existing court facilities in Milton to see the problem for yourself and then formally and publicly announce approval for a new Halton Courthouse.”
(Attached: Mr. Arnott’s Open Letter to the Attorney General)
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Ted Arnott, MPP