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Crown attorneys want to form a union, but NDP government presents a hurdle

Alberta’s Crown prosecutors want to unionize, but face hurdles to their bid, including the wording of provincial legislation and opposition from the NDP government.

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Publication date : 2018-08-17
Ford opposes handgun ban as he pledges funds to fight gun violence

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Publication date : 2018-08-09
‘Pressure points’: Five new provincial court judges hired to help ease backlogs

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Publication date : 2018-07-31
Long waits for RCMP firearms forensics putting prosecutions at risk

Staffing shortages saw routine firearms analysis requests take an average of 238 days in 2017-18

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Publication date : 2018-07-26
Federal lawyers’ union says low pay contributing to ‘crisis’ in hiring, retention, court delays

The union leader representing 2,600 federal government lawyers says Ottawa’s persistent failure to pay competitive compensation is contributing to lacklustre lawyer recruitment, and severe staff shortages in major cities across the country — as well as to court delays and criminal charges being stayed for violating the Supreme Court’s speedy trial deadlines.

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Publication date : 2018-04-26
NDP’s rural crime fighting plan gets mixed reviews

The NDP’s $10-million plan to combat rural crime with new RCMP officers, more Crown prosecutors and improved intelligence gathering is getting mixed reviews from a rural county reeve, a lawyers’ group and an opposition politician. 

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Publication date : 2018-03-12

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Strike of Quebec lawyers, notaries leaves provincial lawmakers in the lurch


Quebec government lawyers and notaries form a picket line at the courthouse Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 in Montreal. The group, which has been working without a contract for over a year began a general unlimited strike to push contract negotiations. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)


Lawyers and notaries who work for the Quebec government began a general strike today, grinding the drafting of provincial bills to a halt.


The 1,100 members of the union Les avocats et notaires de l'État québécois (LANEQ) have been without a collective agreement for a year and half.


François Desroches-Lapointe, who is on the union's executive board, thinks the province will try to resolve the dispute quickly. Bills must be written before the National Assembly's Nov. 4 deadline or they can't be passed this legislative session.


"Of course there is a strategic decision behind the timing," Desroches-Lapointe said.


The union says the strike leaves lawmakers paralyzed at a time when dozens of measures are waiting to be pushed ahead — such as the provincial rules on dangerous dogs, promised since the summer. 


"The government has many law projects it wants to present in this session. If they're not ready, they're going to have to wait. It could freeze the National Assembly's work," Desroches-Lapointe said.


Crown prosecutors are not among those going on strike.


Ready for long-term strike


During the strike, legal advice and representation for the province will be suspended.


Desroches-Lapointe says the union wants to change the way it negotiates with the province.


It wants an independent third-party committee appointed by both parties to decide on disagreements.


"As we are the government's lawyers and notaries, we don't want to be in conflict with the government every three years, when we have to negotiate our work condition," Desroches-Lapointe said.


Union members marched and held rallies Monday at courthouses across the province.


Desroches-Lapointe says the union is ready for a long-term strike, if necessary.