EDMONTON –A shortage of Crown prosecutors in Edmonton has led to charges being stayed in 15 cases that were to be heard in provincial court.
Chief Crown prosecutor Shelley Bykewich says there is a 14 per cent vacancy rate in the prosecutors’ office at the moment.
She says the shortage is complicated by a Supreme Court of Canada ruling last year that set out new deadlines for completing trials: up to 30 months in superior courts and 18 months for cases at the provincial level.
The stayed cases included charges of impaired driving, property offences, assault and breach of release conditions.
Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says more prosecutors and court clerks are being sought.
She says they are actively being recruited both in Edmonton and in Wetaskiwin, about an hour south of the capital city.
“Certainly we’re very concerned,” says Ganley. “We never want a victim to see the person they have accused walk free.”