Attorney General responds to Stanley Cup court decision
VICTORIA – Attorney General Shirley Bond has released this statement following court decision on the application to broadcast a Stanley Cup riot sentencing:
“Making the justice system more transparent to British Columbians is an important public discussion.
“Last June, brazen crimes were committed in public during the Stanley Cup riot, and, since then, government has pursued the goal of having the sentencing of those found guilty broadcast to the public.
“While any member of the public can visit a courthouse in person and witness proceedings first hand, our government sought to broaden access so that more British Columbians could observe justice in action. That is why we directed the Crown to make applications and asked the court to apply its own broadcast policy to these riot trials.
“Today’s decision by the Provincial Court does not decide the merits of all riot broadcast applications, but does raise additional questions. The approach laid out by the judge in this decision is expected to consume more time than anticipated. That is why we are taking a step back to ensure that ongoing trials are not delayed.
“The Province has had two goals – timely justice and greater transparency to the justice system. If we must choose between the two, we will pursue timely justice. Accordingly, the direction issued to Crown counsel has been rescinded.
“In the meantime, we will carefully consider Judge MacLean’s decision, and we will continue to look for opportunities to make the justice system more transparent to all British Columbians.”