Renovation Of Historic Pembroke Courthouse Enters Last Phase
Heritage Justice Facility Will Provide More Modern, Effective Justice Services
PEMBROKE -- The $21 million renovation of the Pembroke consolidated courthouse continues on schedule and is entering its final stage, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced today.
"The historical preservation of this magnificent 19th century courthouse remains on track for completion next summer," said Bryant. "It has been providing the community with justice services since Confederation, and as the current renovations are completed, I am proud to say that the Pembroke courthouse will continue to serve the area for years to come."
In 2004, the McGuinty government announced a $21 million investment to provide Renfrew County residents with more modern and effective justice services. The project consolidates facilities currently at 297 Pembroke Street East, 77 Mary Street, 307 Pembroke Street East and 1100 Pembroke Street East. Construction began in April 2005 on the historic Superior Court building at 297 Pembroke Street East. Built in 1867, this classic building is a designated heritage site.
Exterior renovations were completed in August. An expanded interior will house the Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Justice, Crown attorney offices, court administration and victim/witness services offices. The facility will feature access for people with disabilities and enhanced security measures.
"Access to justice and public safety depends on modern, safe court facilities," said Bryant. "We want to ensure that the community's needs are met and that we maintain an efficient, effective and accessible justice system, while recognizing this courthouse's strong historical ties."
The McGuinty government is committed to capital investment in new court construction and improvements in existing facilities across Ontario.
Through significant infrastructure investments including courthouse construction and improvements, the McGuinty government is delivering better hospitals, schools, transit systems, border crossings, roads and bridges - all necessary for future growth and prosperity.
The courthouse is expected to be completed in summer 2007.
The McGuinty government's commitment to improving access to justice for Ontarians also includes:
- Appointing 59 judges, 40 Justices of the Peace and additional court staff to shorten the time it takes to get cases to trial.
- Increasing funding to Legal Aid Ontario by $13 million in 2006/07. Since October 2003, the McGuinty government has increased base funding by 10 per cent, or $25 million.
- Introducing the Access to Justice Act, 2005 that would, if passed, reform the justice of the peace system and regulate paralegals. It would also amend the Courts of Justice Act and the Limitations Act, and create a new act that would be a single source for rules about Ontario's laws.
- Introducing the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006 that would, if passed, improve and strengthen the promotion, advancement and enforcement of human rights in Ontario.
- Introducing the Independent Police Review Act, 2006 that would, if passed, create an independent civilian body to administer the police review system in Ontario.
- Adopting policies and procedures to enhance the openness of the justice system to the media and public, promote greater access to information and support education for justice partners and the media.