Release. The Lower Fraser Valley is projected to require up to 29 additional courtrooms by 2033 in a long-term court expansion plan received today by Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton.
The Lower Fraser Valley Regional Plan: Court Capacity Expansion project, developed by the five municipalities in the region, forecasts the need for additional courtroom capacity in Surrey, Abbotsford, Langley and Chilliwack as part of an overall plan to improve access to justice in one of the fastest growing regions in the province.
“I thank the mayors for developing this vision, which will help the provincial government as we
map the priorities for the coming 20 years.” – Michael de Jong, Q.C., Minister of Finance and MLA for Abbotsford West
In April 2013, the B.C. government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Surrey, the City of Abbotsford, the City of Chilliwack, the City of Langley and the Township of Langley. On behalf of the consortium, Abbotsford was granted $600,000 to fund the development of the 20-year court expansion plan. Working with the Ministry of Justice, the five municipalities have completed the plan and are presenting it to government to be considered for future capital funding.
The plan recommends a couple of high-priority capital projects be completed by 2018. They include:
- Expand Surrey Provincial courthouse by five Provincial courtrooms and update the facility’s technological infrastructure.
- Construct a new 14-courtroom integrated courthouse with five Supreme and nine Provincial courtrooms in Abbotsford.
- Long-term projects also recommended to be considered for funding approval include:
- A new five-courtroom Provincial courthouse in Langley.
- Further expansion of Surrey’s courthouse by three Provincial courtrooms.
- Expansion of Chilliwack’s courthouse by two Provincial courtrooms.
“Abbotsford is extremely proud to be chosen as the lead municipality for this project. The long –
term expansion plan will address the increasing need for access to court services in our region
and will ultimately benefit all Lower Fraser Valley communities.” – Mayor of Abbotsford Bruce Banman