‘We are lawyers, not health experts,’ senior Crown attorneys say

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Attorney General Doug Downey announced the first phase of the “gradual reopening” Tuesday, with additional courtrooms opening by September and all remaining courtrooms opening by November 1.

A letter to local prosecutors and court staff the same day, June 30, from Director of Crown Operations for Ontario’s east region Julie Scott acknowledges those concerns in the five area courthouses (Ottawa, Cornwall, Kingston, Pembroke and Belleville) slated to reopen Monday.

“I know some of you continue to have concerns about in-person trials resuming, believing that it’s too fast and that we’re not ready. We’re ready,” Scott’s letter states. “If we weren’t we wouldn’t be moving ahead…

“I know that some of you disagree with the timelines and I respect your views, but we’ve been mandated to move forward and so we will, together, carefully and methodically,” Scott wrote.