The Alberta Provincial Courts generally lack sufficient resources to ensure that Criminal and Civil matters are resolved in timely manner. The lack of resources is not confined to one particular area. In some jurisdictions the Court lacks appropriate infrastructure; in others, the Court lacks Crown Prosecutors, Justice of the Peace, Judges and support staff.
Our court system is critical to the functioning of our democratic society and the well-being of Alberta communities. As our province’s population grows, insufficient infrastructure, and insufficient judicial and support staff within the Courts are impacting the effectiveness of our judicial system. While the system pressures are felt both internally and by the public, accessing data on resourcing, caseload types and caseload increases/decreases is not easily accessible to the public.
Implement a change in regulation of the Provincial Court Act to increase the maximum jurisdictional limit in Small Claims Court under Section 9 (1) (i) of the Provincial Court Act,
R.S.A. 2000, c. P-31 to $100,000;
Make a budgetary commitment to ensure the current resource allocation is sufficient to address the timely resolution of disputes in small claims court, including the appointment of more Provincial Court Judges, Masters in Chambers, and the hiring of other support staff; and,
Integrate virtual technology solutions for select categories of cases to allow further access to the judicial system.