Langley may get new courthouse — by 2033
The Langleys could get their courthouse back under a just-announced plan to address a shortage of courtroom space in Fraser Valley communities.
But it will be a long wait if it happens and no funding commitment has been made by the provincial government.
The proposal was unveiled Wednesday by provincial Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton.
The Lower Fraser Valley will need up to 29 additional courtrooms by 2033 according to the long-term court expansion plan developed by Langley Township, Langley City, Surrey, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, working with the ministry of justice.
If the provincial government agrees to fund the plan, Langley would, eventually, get a new five-courtroom provincial courthouse.
The Langley courthouse is listed as a long-range goal, to be built by 2033.
Trials used to be conducted in the former courthouse in Langley City on Fraser Highway, but the court was closed as a cost-saving measure in the 1990s by the NDP government.
If a courthouse was re-established by 2033, it would mean Langley was without a court of its own for almost 40 years.
Last month, Langley RCMP Supt. Derek Cooke cited the lack of a courthouse as an additional cost pressure on his detachment.
In a written release, Langley City acting mayor Ted Schaffer said “shortfalls, including facilities, are of increasing concern,” while Township Mayor Jack Froese said “timely access to court services is paramount.”
The plan says the region needs 32 provincial courtrooms but only has 22 (14 at Surrey, five at Abbotsford, and three at Chilliwack).
It predicts the deficit will grow to an 18-courtroom shortfall by 2018 and 24 by 2033.
The plan calling for opening five more provincial courtrooms at the Surrey courthouse and building a new courthouse with five Supreme and nine provincial courtrooms in Abbotsford, both by 2018.