Halton is Finally Getting a New Courthouse
A new courthouse is coming to Oakville and replacing the one in Milton, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi announced on Wednesday.
“This long-awaited investment will not only mean better justice services, but a stronger, safer community for everyone who lives and works here,” Naqvi said at the site of the future Halton Region Consolidated Courthouse.
It’s at the Oakville Land Assembly near William Halton Parkway and Third Line, northwest of the new Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital.
The 21-courtroom facility will be merging the Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice operations in Milton and Burlington at one location.
Halton Police are applauding the move.
“We think it’s great news,” said Staff Sgt. Brad Cook from the court services bureau.
Under the current system, a person who’s accused of a crime may appear in a courtroom in Milton, Burlington, or both.
“It can be confusing to your customer base - if you’re a witness - to know ‘where am I going?,’” said Cook.
“With the new court, there’s only one place.”
Cook oversees security and says the move will improve things from a staffing perspective.
“Instead of having a group of officers that you have to split up in four different locations, it’ll be two,” he said.
“It’s way more efficient.”
The Attorney General agrees.
By consolidating, “we're making things easier for all court users in Halton Region, from families, victims and the accused, to lawyers and other legal professionals,” said Naqvi.
In addition, technology will help things run more smoothly, Naqvi said, with witnesses being able to appear before court through video conferencing or from a secure room via closed-circuit television.
Since the land is provincially-owned, the ministry won't have to buy or lease the property.
The cost of the project, though, is under wraps.
It’s “too early to speak to cost estimates at this stage, because doing so could jeopardize the tendering process and the Ministry's efforts to obtain the most favourable proposal from bidders,” said spokeswoman Clare Graham.
Naqvi was joined by Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn, Halton MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris, and Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon.
Construction on the courthouse is expected to begin in late 2019 and be completed in 2023.
Infrastructure Ontario determined the site in the Oakville Land Assembly was the best location for the new courthouse because it’s:
- Provincially-owned, so the ministry doesn’t have to buy or lease the property.
- Located close to the Milton (15 km) and Burlington (16 km) courthouses.
- Easily accessible by public transit (buses from Bronte and Oakville GO stations, and planned rapid transit bus route along Dundas Street from Bronte Road in Burlington to the Kipling TTC subway station).
- Easily accessible by car from Hwy. 407 and Dundas Street West.
- Well-serviced, which means construction can begin sooner than at any of the other potential sites.
(Source: Ministry of the Attorney General)
The courthouse will be designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification with a focus on energy efficiency, healthy indoor environments and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
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