Ontario Court Delays Undermine Justice for Gender-Based Violence Survivors


QUEEN’S PARK – NEWS – At Queen’s Park, Kristyn Wong-Tam, the Official Opposition NDP critic for the Attorney General, made a compelling case against the Ontario government’s handling of the justice system, which has been critically hampered by delays. Joined by survivors of gender-based violence and legal experts, Wong-Tam highlighted the dire consequences of these delays on the administration of justice.

Wong-Tam Criticizes Government Inaction

“The justice system under the Conservative government’s management is besieged by delays,” Wong-Tam articulated, stressing that the inefficiency has reached a point where even severe cases, such as sexual and physical assaults, are being dismissed. “The real human consequences of the underfunding and understaffing of our courts are profound and deeply troubling,” she added, pointing out the government’s negligence in addressing this critical issue.

Additionally the NDP Critic for Solicitor General talks about how the delays are leaving people in custody for long periods of time with repeated delays in their hearings, often long after the 18 months set as the limit for a trial in Ontario under a Supreme Court of Canada decision R v Jordan.

Impact of Delays on Gender-Based Violence Cases

Wong-Tam shared the distressing narratives of Cait Alexander and Emily Agar, whose experiences underscore the system’s failures. “The horrific experiences of survivors like Cait and Emily are a shameful stain on our justice system,” she stated, emphasizing the need for the government to take immediate action to resolve these delays. Their stories illustrate not only the personal toll on survivors but also the broader implications for societal trust in the justice system.

Survivors and Legal Experts Demand Changes

The call to action is clear: end the court delays that hinder the path to justice for survivors of gender-based violence. “This week, the government had the opportunity to make a significant difference with the budget. They could have chosen to fund our courts adequately and finally end the delays. Instead, they let things get worse,” Wong-Tam lamented, criticizing the government for its inaction.

Missed Opportunities in Government Budget

Highlighting the government’s failure to prioritize justice system reforms in the budget, Wong-Tam argued that real solutions are being overlooked in favor of tough-on-crime rhetoric that fails to materialize into effective action. “All their tough-on-crime talk is simply a deflection from their failings,” she remarked, urging the Ford government to confront the issue of court delays head-on.

The NDP critic’s statements resonate with a growing demand for the Ontario government to address the backlog in court cases urgently.

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