The BC Provincial Court’s Interior Region stretches from Princeton to the Alberta border and from Golden to the US border. Judges and judicial justices sit in 21 court locations in this region, as well as in two virtual bail courts where all participants appear by video or telephone. Maintaining court operations throughout the region has posed particular challenges in the last 18 months.
The Hazelton Indigenous Court, the BC Provincial Court’s eighth Indigenous sentencing court, marked its first anniversary on August 3, 2022. Established through collaboration with the local and First Nations communities, the Court has succeeded in meeting unexpected challenges due to the perseverance and dedication of everyone involved.
Public Service Week, celebrated annually the third week of June, was established in 1992 as an opportunity to recognize and thank BC Public Service employees. It was the perfect time for the Court to pay tribute to Mike Smith, whose career with the BC government has spanned 50 years, over 30 of those with the Provincial Court.
On June 2, 2022, in Port Alberni, a swearing-in ceremony in the BC Provincial Court saw an Indigenous woman judge preside while an Indigenous woman court clerk administered the oath of office to an Indigenous woman justice of the peace.
While public health measures adopted in BC during the pandemic have been relaxed, COVID-19 remains a communicable disease with potential for serious consequences. On July 18, 2022 the BC Provincial Court’s operations will move from the pandemic response phase of the last two years to a communicable disease phase.