Provincial court judge takes off robes to suggest curbs on domestic violence
Judge Jeff Lantz
Provincial Court Judge Jeff Lantz is setting the province’s judiciary on its normally conservative ear. Several months ago, Judge Lantz went on a national radio show to gentle critique new federal legislation on mandatory jail terms and huge fines for what had been previously considered minor offences. In Judge Lantz’s view, and in the view of other judges across the country, the federal government’s crackdown on crime impacted unfairly on the poorer and more vulnerable members of society.
This week, in an unprecedented appearance before a legislative standing committee, Judge Lantz was arguing for more treatment options for victims of domestic violence. Judge Lantz argued that more people might come forward about domestic violence situations if there were more treatment options for the court to consider. Judge Lantz said the court would like to see a problem-solving approach to meting out justice which addresses social and personal issues instead of simply punishing an accused.
His comments come on the heels of a recent challenge from fellow Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr for MLAs to spend some time in her courtroom to see and hear about the heart-wrenching fallout from addictions abuse.
It's a progressive step to see members of the bench become more pro-active and influence law-makers who might be too insulated from the tragic events that judges see in their courtrooms on a daily basis.
Without disparaging the list of the four finalists for the Souris kindergarten to Grade 12 school, it’s unfortunate that the history of the area and the accomplishments of prominent citizens are not being recognized. Credit does go to the 11 Souris residents who bothered to show up for a public meeting in February to gather input on naming the school which produced 31 possible names. A local ad hoc committee reviewed the list, narrowing it to four - East Kings Academy, Souris Collegiate, Souris Regional School and Souris Academy - all neutral and politically correct. The ad hoc committee met March 11 to review voting results and will present its recommendation at a public board meeting March 25. Prominent citizens like former MP and Justice Melvin McQuaid could have been justifiably singled out. Members of the Chaisson, MacPhee, MacCormack, Cheverie, MacDonald, Peters, Mullally and other families with rich accomplishments in politics, clergy, industry and entertainment could also have been recognized. Maybe various units inside the renovated school can still honour some of the historic names of the eastern Kings region.
P.E.I.’s newest Olympic hero lost his bid for a third medal this week as Mark Arendz battled an intense head cold and finished 11th in the men’s 15 km standing biathlon Friday in the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The 24-year-old won the bronze medal in the men's 12.5-kilometre standing category on Tuesday as Arendz took advantage of the weather he grew up with in Hartsville to grab his second medal of the week. Earlier in Sochi, Arendz became the first Canadian ever to win a silver medal in biathlon at the Paralympic Winter Games. Well-done Mark! Arendz is questionable for the cross-country skiing relay race, which takes centre stage today in Sochi.
Overheard on a Charlottetown street at noon Friday. “It is one of the supreme ironies of the day that on one hand, the province and City of Charlottetown are making it mandatory to have low-flow toilets, while on the other hand the city is digging deep-water wells in Milton and farmers are asking the province to lift a 10-year moratorium on deep-water wells. Figure that one out.” The well-known member of P.E.I.’s legal community hinted that a judicial ruling might be required to clarify this murky matter.