Weyburn's Courthouse will see more use now that Premier Scott Moe announced during the most recent Throne Speech it'll reopen as a Court Of King's Bench.
Moe said, "in order to increase access to justice and the timely prosecution of those who commit crimes, my government will fully re-open and restore services in the provincial courthouse in Lloydminster and the Weyburn Court of King's Bench."
Weyburn's Mayor Roy said this is good for individuals and familes, who won't have to travel as far as Estevan and Weyburn to deal with court proceedings.
"Basically family and civil litigations can be heard now, so it's expanding use of the building a few more days of the week," he noted. "Every Tuesday was court always there, we were always hearing provincial court, and it went on forever."
MLA for Weyburn Big Muddy Dustin Duncan said that he has been part of those advocating for this to happen since 2017, when its hours of operation were reduced to just Tuesdays.
"I've been in touch with members of the legal community in Weyburn for essentially since the time that the decision to close the courthouse was made a few years back," he shared. "We've been keeping in touch and talking to the various attorney generals and justice ministers that we've had in that time and trying to make that argument kind of quietly behind the scenes and I know Minister [Bronwyn] Eyre, who is our new Justice Minister and Attorney General, has spoken and met with members of the legal community in Weyburn since she became the Attorney General."
"So, I think just between the information that we could provide, in terms of how busy the court system is, particularly in Estevan, now that everything had been centralized in the regional location in Estevan, and the pressure that had put on Estevan as well as in Regina," Duncan noted.
He said other work the government has been doing to increase police presence has in turn created a more busy justice system.
"She was able to look at all of those arguments, and a little while ago made the argument to cabinet to restore services in Weyburn, and so it was announced in the Throne Speech."
Duncan said Minister Eyre will be visiting Weyburn on Thursday, November 3rd, to formally make the announcement, and give more details to the community.
"So it's very exciting news."
It was more than a decade ago the province committed a significant amount of money to renovate the courthouse.
"It is a beautiful building. It's probably one of the more beautiful buildings in Weyburn, a historic building, and so we had to make some difficult decisions back in the 2017 budget, and that was one of those decisions that we did make and I think a number of factors have really caused us to look back and be able to make a change," Duncan explained.
"Physically, we're in a different position now than we were then, and so it's taken some time, it's taken a number of discussions, and a number of meetings, and so just really pleased that the government was able to come to listen to the case that Minister Eyre brought forward to Cabinet a couple of weeks ago, and to be able to now announce that we are going to be restoring services at the courthouse."
"It's great news, and frankly, I think it shows that the government is responsive to the needs of the local community," he concluded. "We don't always get them right, and there's sometimes difficult decisions that have to be made, but when circumstances allow, I think it does show that we can revisit the decisions that we've made and make things right."