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Crown prosecutors vote 99% in favour of strike action amid labour shortage, system ‘crisis’

New Brunswick Crown prosecutors and family court Crown counsel have voted 99 per cent in favour of strike action. They have been in contract talks with the provincial government for more than a year and warn the "crisis" facing the criminal justice system is growing, due to recruitment and retention problems.

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Publication date : 2024-05-28
Shortage of prosecutors: towards abandoning prosecutions

Crown prosecutors fear the worst in the face of the crisis which is slowing down the functioning of the criminal justice system in New Brunswick. Calls for help have been made for two weeks.  Me Yves Duguay, Vice-President of the New Brunswick Association of Crown Prosecutors and prosecutor in Bathurst, admits that the situation has been worrying for a while.

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Publication date : 2024-03-27
B.C. prosecutors’ association raises security concerns about Vancouver courthouse following assault

The association that represents B.C.’s roughly 450 Crown prosecutors is raising safety concerns around an East Vancouver courthouse after a member was allegedly assaulted outside last week. "We’re reeling, this has really shaken us to the core to have one of our own attacked right here,” said BCCCA president Adam Dalrymple.

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Publication date : 2024-02-05
Increased number of homicides doesn’t bode well for overworked N.L. prosecutors, association says

There are 17 homicide cases before the courts in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the head of the association that represents local prosecutors says the higher-than-normal caseload will be difficult to handle.

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Publication date : 2023-09-07
Manitoba adds 25 Crown attorneys to prosecution service amid workload issues

The Manitoba government hopes to add about two dozen more prosecutors and assistants to the prosecution service, which attorneys say has been struggling to keep up amid workload and workforce issues. Manitoba Association of Crown Attorneys says province left group out of discussions.

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Publication date : 2023-06-26
Les Leyne: Premier David Eby takes on lawyers — again

The B.C. NDP government has introduced a one-page bill that bestows the right to join a union on the 350 lawyers who work for government. There’s a catch. It herds them into a union the government prefers, the Professional Employees Association, rather than allowing them to form their own.

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Publication date : 2023-05-06

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B.C. government lawyers fight for right to unionize on their own terms

Night view of Parliament building in Victoria B.C. PHOTO BY JONGHYUNKIM /PNG


Lawyers who work for the B.C. government writing legislation, providing legal advice and representing government in civil litigation want the right to join a union of their choice.


On Monday, the B.C. Government Lawyers Association said that 75 per cent of the government’s 350 lawyers had signed cards asking that the association be allowed to represent them as its proposed new union.


These lawyers are not unionized, under the 1973 Public Service Labour Relations Act.


The provincial government is prepared to allow them to unionize, but only if the Professional Employees Association represents them in bargaining. Instead, the lawyers want their own association to negotiate for them.


The Professional Employees Association represents nearly 1,300 people working as foresters, engineers, agrologists, geoscientists, psychologists and others in the B.C. government.


B.C. government-paid lawyers working as Crown prosecutors belong to the B.C. Crown Counsel Association, which negotiates for them.


Margo Foster, secretary of the BCGLA, said that the provincial government’s Bill 10 — which her members helped write — permitted workers to choose which union they belonged to.


Bill 10 requires employers to recognize a union if more than 55 per cent of employees have signed on.


“We are a diverse and predominantly female group of employees, yet we are paid less and have less job security than our Crown counsel peers,” Foster said.


“It’s a little-known fact that we can be simply fired at any time without cause. We should be able to do our job without fear of reprisal. If the employer says we aren’t doing our jobs properly, that should be decided by an independent arbitrator, if necessary.”


The lawyers’ association, formed in 1992, is taking its case to the Supreme Court of B.C. — with a five-day trial set to begin on Feb. 6, 2023.


Responding to the lawyers, B.C. Premier David Eby said Monday that his “government, of course, supports the rights of people to organize and I’m sure I’ll hear more about that soon.”