A civilized society survives by the rule of law.
It cannot prosper when people accused of a crime have their cases stayed because the Ontario government has not provided enough resources to have these accused have their cases heard in a reasonable amount of time.
In staying the trials, the courts have imposed the rule of law: a Supreme Court decision that set down reasonable times for cases to be heard.
Providing a speedy, fair and efficient court system is the responsibility of the Ontario government. In this, it has failed.
The problem is not new and neither is the provincial Liberal government. It has had much time to solve such an important problem just as it has dithered on fixing our jail system.
Many people have suffered because the Ontario government has not provided a basic service. We expect our governments to provide basic services.
The court and jail system woes are of course much more serious than moving snow.
Fixing them does not garner much political capital. There are no ribbon-cuttings and celebrations involved in getting inmates out of showers for sleeping or hiring more judges.
But responsible governments don’t let such situations fester until they reach a crisis. Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has promised a solution to the court problem.
Naqvi, the MPP for Ottawa Centre, better provide it if for nothing else, a provincial election is on the way and the Liberal government is nervous.
If he cannot solve this, it is time for a new minister.
The provision of justice is basic to a free society. A government that lets this basic service and fundamental function of a democracy suffer does not deserve to be in power.
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