MEDIA RELEASE: Government Backtracks on Safety Commitments at Courthouses

The safety of Nova Scotians and courthouse staff is being jeopardized, as our Provincial government backtracks on commitments to improve courthouse safety, all the while sparing no expense implementing safety measures in their own place of work: the Legislature.

In July 2015, then-Justice Minister Lena Diab committed to act on recommendations that were made in an internal report she commissioned to review deputy sheriffs’ occupational health and safety. This 137-page report, which was authored by RCMP Supt. Darrell Beaton, contained 51 recommendations designed to mitigate significant risks to both the public and Deputy Sheriffs. One of these recommendations was that deputy sheriffs be trained and given firearms in certain situations: when working at front entrances of certain courthouses, while serving documents in the community, and while carrying prisoners in a vehicle.

At that time, Diab publicly committed to implementing these recommendations.

Now, we have learned that government is reversing their position on implementing key safety measures that will make Nova Scotia’s courthouses safer for the public and staff, including arming Deputy Sheriffs.

“We are very disappointed to hear that government is backtracking on these commitments,” says NSGEU’s acting President, Jason MacLean.

“At a time when government is investing in safety measures at the Legislature, why are they content with our courthouses being unsafe?”

MacLean is calling on government to honour their commitment to implement the recommendations of Beaton’s report and provide a timeline for this implementation, to ensure public safety. The NSGEU will be looking at any and all means to action to ensure that government lives up to the commitments they have made to our members and the public.


The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union represents over 30,000 women and men who provide quality public services Nova Scotian’s count on every day.

For more information, please contact:
Holly Fraughton, NSGEU Communications Officer
902.424.4063 (office)
902.471.1781 (cell)



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