The South Tower of the Edmonton Law Courts was evacuated at 2:45 pm on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, as a result of a power outage. Investigation and repair work undertaken by Alberta Infrastructure remain underway. As of January 9, 2023, the South Tower of the Edmonton Law Courts remains closed. Power to portions of the South Tower is being restored for January 10, which will allow for the return of some matters to South Tower courtrooms.
Despite the power outage and the resulting closure of all of its Edmonton Law Courts courtrooms, the Court of King’s Bench heard most of the matters scheduled to proceed in Edmonton during the week of January 3, 2023. This includes all criminal trials, jury selections, emergency protection order reviews and hearings, and all other urgent civil matters. Civil, Family, and Applications’ Judges Chambers were adjourned on January 4 and 5 but proceeded as scheduled on Friday January 6. Starting January 6, and continuing into the week of January 9, 2023, the Court is hearing nearly every matter that has been scheduled, either remotely or in courtrooms drawn from the Provincial Court, other King’s Bench locations across the province and some external Edmonton facilities. The Court will continue to do so until power to the South Tower of the Edmonton Law Courts is fully restored. Updates on the matters being heard, and hearing locations, are posted to the Court’s website daily.
The timely assistance provided by the Provincial Court of Alberta has been essential to the Court of King’s Bench operations. The Court also wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the Federal Court of Canada, the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, the Legal Education Society of Alberta, the Law Society of Alberta, and Provincial Tribunals that have offered assistance and the use of their facilities in the event that the power outage continues. The Court of King’s Bench of Alberta is also grateful to its frontline staff and to the staff of the Clerk’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and Court Technology Services, without whose support and assistance the Court would have been unable to hear the majority of its scheduled matters.