By: Laura Steiner
Halton Region will be getting a new court house. The announcement was made earlier this week at a location in the Oakville area by Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, MPPs Indira Naidoo-Harris (Halton), Eleanor McMahon (Burlington), and Kevin Flynn (Oakville).
The site located is on provincial-owned land. It was chosen for its central location, close to Milton (15km), and Burlington courthouses (16 km), accessible by transit, and car. “It’s well-serviced, which means construction can begin sooner than at any of the other potential sites,” Emilie Smith, senior media relations coordinator said in an email. It’s on land near William Halton Parkway and Highway 25. Construction is slated to start by the end of 2019.
The new facility will be house 21 courtrooms equipped to offer justice, family, social, and victim services. “It make life easier for people in our community as they will go to a new, modern, accessible courthouse where they will resolve their disputes faster, Halton MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris said. The courthouse will feature new technology including video conferencing for witnesses and vulnerable people.
The announcement comes of something of a surprise. The last time members of Regional Council met with Naqvi, he revealed a new court house was a top priority but failed to mention where it would go. At one point land along Trafalgar Road was proposed for both a court house, and combined Milton/ Halton Hills police division. That is the case. Planning for police facilities is done through the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
Court facilities in Milton, and Burlington will remain open until the new court house is complete. After that, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) makes the decision on what will happen to the building between reuse, or disposition. “No decisions have been made about the Milton courthouse,” Smith said.