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Courthouses can share spaces during crisis

Durham regional council recently approved a memorandum of understanding between the Oshawa courthouse and Durham Region Provincial Offences Court that they can now be used interchangeably in emergencies.

The Oshawa courthouse and Durham Region Provincial Offences Court can now use each other’s facilities as an alternate site during a local emergency.

Regional council approved the memorandum of understanding between the two courthouses at its recent regional council meeting.

“That Regional Council approve the Memorandum of Understanding (‘Memorandum’) between the Ministry of the Attorney General Court Services Division – Oshawa courthouse (‘Attorney General’), and the Durham Region Provincial Offences Court (‘Provincial Offences Court’) agreeing that each party has reciprocal use of the other party’s primary location as an Alternate Site Delivery Location (‘Alternate Site’) during a local emergency,” the motion reads.

According to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, 2006, all ministries must have a plan to continue operations and services in case of emergencies. The plan must include an alternate site where critical services can take place should the primary site be inaccessible during an emergency.

The Memorandum allows for reciprocal use at no additional cost to either party of courtrooms, hearing rooms, meeting rooms, and office space when possible, as well as operational resources such as telephones, printers, computers, and supplies.

According to the motion, the Memorandum can be terminated on 60 days written notice.

The motion, which was moved by Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter and seconded by Oshawa Ward 3 Regional and City Councillor Bob Chapman, was carried in a unanimous decision.