EDITORIAL: Justice system in the spotlight

The crisis in health care funding is well known in the North Okanagan.

The crisis in health care funding is well known in the North Okanagan.

The top two empty floors of the new Polson Tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital stand as a testament to what could be and should be but sadly isn’t for health services in the North Okanagan.

And as the government and the teachers argue about funding for schools, with no resolution in sight, education also has been in the spotlight of late.

Some may also know about the cutbacks and shortfall in the province’s justice system but it’s a topic that gets less ink and may be less understood by the public at large.

However that doesn’t mean it’s not just as important, especially when it results in an accused cocaine trafficker having his case thrown out due to a 42-month delay (that’s three-and-a-half years).

Recently the top judge of the B.C. Supreme Court warned that the province’s congested justice system is in dire shape due to underfunding.

Lawyers are taking steps to draw attention to the lack of funding for legal aid, which both harms those who can least afford it and also clogs up an already overloaded system.

Hopefully that draws some attention to this serious problem that undermines a system we all count on to maintain order and a just society.

Certainly more funding is part of the solution but like health and education it’s not all about throwing money at a problem, especially in financially challenging times, as reform and new ideas on ways to improve the system should also be part of the equation.

—The Morning Star

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