Waiting until all committee members available
Newfoundland Supreme Court
A meeting of the minds to reassess provincial government budget cuts in the Justice Department will go ahead when all members are available.
A newly struck committee - consisting of government officials and leaders in various branches of Justice - was expected to meet Monday, but the meeting was postponed.
Justice spokesman Luke Joyce said it's a matter of scheduling.
"We are in the process of setting an acceptable meeting date and time that works for all of those involved in the committee," the spokesman said.
Joyce added Justice Minister Darin King will not make any comment until the committee has finished its work.
The committee will be made up of King, Attorney General Tom Marshall, Finance Minister Jerome Kennedy, chairman of the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission Nick Avis, director of public prosecutions Donovan Molloy, the province's high sheriff Ernie Boone and St. John's lawyer Bob Simmonds, representing the legal profession.
Last week, King said the decision to form the committee was in response to the immense outcry from the public and those within the justice system to cuts in the department.
Some felt the cuts were too deep.
King said the biggest concerns expressed to him have focused around public safety and the timely adminstration of justice - more specifically, the loss of Crown prosecutors, sheriff's officers and legal aid lawyers.
When the budget was first announced, it was determined that four Crown prosecutors would lose their jobs, while the sheriff's office in St. John's would be slashed in half - from 40 officers to 20.
Legal aid may lose up to eight lawyers.
King wouldn't make promises about reinstating positions, but said there could be a reduction in the number of job losses.
He said he will take the recommendations of the committee to the premier, who will have the final say.
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