My letter to The Honourable Minister Kathleen Ganley, Alberta's Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, about delays to the province's civil justice system caused by the shortage of Masters and judicial support staff.
The civil justice system is reaching a crisis point in Alberta.
One reason is the shortage of Masters in Alberta. Masters are the frontline decision-makers for civil matters in the province, and are responsible for issuing vital procedural and substantive legal decisions in lawsuits prior to trial.
The failure of the Province of Alberta to hire Masters and judicial support staff to accommodate the civil needs of Albertans has led to lengthy delays for their matters to be heard, including for procedural applications and summary dispositions. The latter civil procedures are designed to facilitate the progression of civil claims to resolution in an expeditious manner. However, with the shortage of Masters and judicial support staff to consider these procedural applications and summary dispositions, Albertans often have to wait for upwards of a year for a court date to have these matters heard. This delay pushes trials back further, and does not facilitate settlement discussions between parties, as they often wait for these pre-trial determinations to resolve matters.
(Read the full letter here).