FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Justice and Office of the Attorney General announced today that, effective June 1, all court matters scheduled in Burton are moving to the Fredericton Justice Building until further notice.

“Due to the realities of the current pandemic, the justice system is going through a lot of changes to adjust to the new expectations from a public health perspective,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Andrea Anderson-Mason. “We are working extremely hard to recover from the disruption the pandemic has caused to the courts and are looking toward building a more resilient system.”

COVID-19 restrictions exposed a number of challenges in the Fredericton Justice Building such as holding jury trials, catching up with deferred matters in the Court of Queen’s Bench and managing the heavy Provincial Court Docket.

It was announced last week that Court of Queen’s Bench matters for the Fredericton judicial district would be moving to the Fredericton Convention Centre. This will provide space for a fourth full-time Queen’s Bench courtroom, when there are only three Queen’s Bench Courtrooms in the Fredericton Justice Building.

“Fredericton’s Provincial Court has been experiencing a high volume of charges, both before and since the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anderson-Mason. “Moving the Queen’s Bench out of the Justice Building will allow us to dedicate an additional courtroom to help with the provincial court docket. The efficiencies gained in merging the resources and capacity of the Burton docket within the Fredericton Justice Building will ensure the timely access to justice that everyone in the judicial district of Fredericton deserves.”

Once COVID-related restrictions are removed the Queen’s Bench is expected to return to the Fredericton Justice Building and the Burton Provincial Court resources will move back.

Further announcements are expected in the coming days related to the resumption of non-urgent court matters.