Crown counsel, located in one of the province’s busiest justice centres, is moving into expanded work space, allowing its prosecutors to work with greater efficiency and contribute to a stronger court system.
A lease agreement has been ratified between the Province and the City of Surrey, which allows Crown counsel to relocate from the Surrey courthouse to Surrey’s former city hall.
The relocation of Crown counsel offices is part of a $3.4-million office relocation and expansion project. The move more than doubles the space available for support staff, including file storage, meeting rooms, witness waiting rooms and other support spaces.
The lease is for an initial 10-year term with options to renew up to 2036. Crown counsel will occupy approximately 3,000 square metres of space. This service, located in close proximity to the courthouse, the Pre-Trial Centre and the RCMP, will provide for an enhanced relationship among Surrey’s justice system partners.
Funding from the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services covers the design, construction and project management costs to upgrade the former city hall space to meet Crown counsel’s specific operational and security needs. Design and renovations are expected to be completed in early 2015.
This project is one of two significant justice projects in Surrey. The Lower Fraser Valley Court expansion plan, which was released on Feb. 5, 2014, identifies court expansion needs for Surrey, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, the City of Langley and the Township of Langley. The expansion of the Surrey courthouse was identified in that plan as the highest priority project. This announcement is a precursor to making the expansion a reality.
Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice -
“Ratifying the lease agreement with the City of Surrey is an important step in the process to relocate Crown counsel staff. This improvement project will create more efficient operations and better working conditions for Crown counsel, and also fits in with our long-term expansion plans for court operations in Surrey.”
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services -
“These new facilities for Crown prosecutors will make a positive difference for the community by improving access to the court system in Surrey. I want to thank Shared Services BC, the Ministry of Justice and the City of Surrey for making this relocation happen.”
Marvin Hunt, MLA for Surrey-Panorama -
“This project is a great example of the Province and the City of Surrey working together to find solutions that benefit everyone. It is this kind of collaboration that strengthens our communities.”
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts -
“I am pleased that we have finalized a long-term lease agreement with the provincial government. The close proximity of the former city hall to the courthouse, pre-trial centre and the Surrey RCMP main detachment will allow the Province, including the Ministry of Justice, police and court services to better serve the needs of the community. I am also pleased to announce that the proceeds from the lease agreement will go directly towards offsetting the costs of our new city hall. I take great pride in our strong partnership with the Province and look forward to the many benefits this agreement will bring to Surrey residents.”
- Crown counsel currently has 1,200 square metres of combined office space in the Surrey courthouse at 14340-57th Ave.
- Once the renovation and expansion project is complete at 14245-56th Ave., Crown counsel will have approximately 3,000 square metres of space.
- B.C. spends more than $1 billion each year to support the justice system.
About the Provincial court of B.C.: www.provincialcourt.bc.ca
About the history of the justice system, including courthouses, in Surrey: www.surreyhistory.ca/justicesystem.html
Ministry of Justice
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey