Two courthouses in Newfoundland and Labrador that were slated for closure in the recent provincial budget will remain open after all. The supreme courts in Grand-Falls Windsor and Grand Bank will not close, a provincial government news release said Friday.
Both buildings have been given a second chance due to savings found by the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“In recent weeks, the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court presented me with a proposal that identified additional savings beyond what was originally budgeted while allowing court sites in Grand Falls-Windsor and Grand Bank to remain open,” Justice and Public Safety Minister Andrew Parsons said in a news release.
“Based on this new information, we can maintain access to justice services in those communities in a fiscally responsible manner.”
The financial proposal by the court says it can save about $74,000 annually.
Parsons is holding a news conference at 10 a.m. to discuss the reprieve.
The Liberal government announced in its April 14 budget it would close the Supreme Court in Grand Bank and Grand Falls-Windsor, as well as the provincial courts in Harbour Grace and Wabush.
Parsons cited low numbers as one of the reasons why the those courthouses would close.
Following the decision, lawyers and judges spoke out about the negative impact the closures would have on the system.
The Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Bar Association warned the closures would have a detrimental affect, adding the increased travel times would hike costs.
Earlier this month, lawyers on the Bonavista and Burin peninsulas filed a court challenge to keep the Supreme Court in Grand Bank open.