Prince George to act as "hub court" for northern region

Prince George provincial court will act as a "hub court" while operations at all other courts in northern B.C. will be suspended effective Wed., March 25, according to a notice issued Friday by the Office of the Chief Judge.

Hearings will be limited to criminal matters involving in-custody accused and urgent family, child custody and civil matters.

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Victims and witnesses will also be given the opportunity to testify via videoconference from another location.

All criminal matters involving accused who are out of custody and previously schedule to proceed by May 16 have been adjourned.

The same goes for traffic, ticket or bylaw and non-urgent small claims, family case and child protection matters that were scheduled to proceed by May 4.

The step comes after operations at all B.C. Supreme Court venues, including the one in Prince George, were suspended on Wednesday.

On both the civil-family and criminal sides, hearings on "essential and urgent matters" only will be held, the court said in notices issued Wednesday.

Those include orders under the Quarantine Act and the Public Health Act, the court noted in one of the notices. All other matters that were scheduled for a hearing between March 19 and May 1 were to be adjourned.

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