That money will hire 35 Crown prosecutors on top of 15 already being recruited, along with 30 support staff. "We are addressing long-standing backlogs and staffing pressures by investing new money in Crown prosecution and other areas of our justice system, helping to fulfil the Supreme Court's Jordan decision," said Finance Minister Joe Ceci, referring to the 2016 ruling that limited wait times for criminal trials to 18 months. "Albertans deserve a strong and effective justice system, one they can be confident is keeping their families and communities safe." Ceci said justice is one of the few areas of staffing growth in a provincial government holding the line on recruitment. "That's the lion's share of hiring," he said. In all, the province is spending about $50 million more in 2017-18 on the justice system than was budgeted the previous year. The announcement comes on the heels of concerns stresses in the system are threatening public confidence in it. "The tide has risen to the point where we're concerned that justice is being threatened and that the public may start to question the efficacy of the criminal justice system," Alberta Crown Attorneys Association President James Pickard said March 1. Craft distillers?  Yes, there's something in it for them too And while the province is confident the infusion of cash and staff will reduce the backlog, Alberta Justice officials say they don't expect to eliminate it entirely. The province has also created nine Court of Queen's Bench judge spaces they hope Ottawa will fill. And the NDP government is earmarking $4 million to the Calgary Remand Centre — widely condemned as overcrowded — to build divided living units. Alberta Budget 2017: Clogged court system gets $14.5M  Busting trial delays that are handcuffing criminal prosecutions is the goal of funding hikes to the justice department.

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