Cold Lake Needs More Court Time

 

Chief Crown Prosecutor Jeffery Rudiak spoke at the Cold Lake RCMP Detachment Presentation that was held at the Lakeland Inn on March 29, 2018. Rudiak has been working in the area (his office covers a population of about 100,000 people) for over sixteen years. His home office, the Crown Prosecutor’s Office in St. Paul, provides service north to Lac La Biche, south to Wainwright, east to Lloydminster, the City of Cold Lake, Bonnyville, and St. Paul.

Rudiak explained how busy they are with cases. “Right now we have six prosecutors. Our case load is 2,000 files per prosecutor. I have four murder cases on my desk now.”

Rudiak told the audience they were going to be losing two prosecutors, and then their case load would be higher. “We need more court time and judges to process files faster.”

He added, “In 2003, the days were very manageable. Now it’s absolutely amazing how much volume has increased and the large number of files being pushed through. We cannot keep up. Cases are now being put off, and put off. On Wednesday, we did a warrant clean-up. We looked at the dates from 2010 to 2013 and withdrew them. This happens a lot. We cannot keep going through the number of files with the court time we have. We are trying to get extra court dates, but we haven’t been successful yet.”

 

When asked how long it will be until they get two more prosecutors, he answered, “Hopefully we will get them quickly, but you never know. It’s very difficult to attract lawyers to come to rural Alberta. Since 2003, we’ve had twenty-six people come and go from our office. It’s such a high volume, they don’t last.”