“At a time when government is investing in safety measures at the legislature, why are they content with our courthouses being unsafe?" — Jason MacLean, NSGEU acting President
Halifax (11 April 2016) — The safety of Nova Scotians and courthouse staff is being jeopardized, as the provincial government backtracks on commitments to improve courthouse safety, all the while sparing no expense implementing safety measures in their own place of work: the legislature.
Nova Scotia government committed to acting on health and safety recommendations, now distancing itself
In July 2015, former Justice Minister Lena Diab committed to act on recommendations from an internal report she commissioned to review deputy sheriffs’ occupational health and safety. This 137-page report, which was authored by RCMP Supt. Darrell Beaton, contained 51 recommendations designed to mitigate significant risks to both the public and deputy sheriffs. One of these recommendations was that deputy sheriffs be trained and given firearms in certain situations, such as when working at front entrances of certain courthouses, serving documents in the community, and while carrying prisoners in a vehicle.
At that time, Diab publicly committed to implementing these recommendations.
Now, the government is reversing its position on implementing key safety measures that will make Nova Scotia’s courthouses safer for the public and staff, including arming deputy sheriffs.
NSGEU/NUPGE concerned about public safety
“We are very disappointed to hear that government is backtracking on these commitments,” says Jason MacLean, acting President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE).
“At a time when government is investing in safety measures at the legislature, why are they content with our courthouses being unsafe?" asked MacLean.
MacLean is calling on government to honour their commitment to implement the recommendations of Beaton’s report and provide a timeline for this implementation to ensure public safety. The NSGEU/NUPGE will be looking at any and all means of action to ensure the government lives up to the commitments it has made to NSGEU/NUPGE members and the public.