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CALGARY COURTS CENTRE

DARRYL RUETHER
SUITE 2401-N
EXECUTIVE LEGAL COUNSEL
601 – 5TH STREET S.W.
DIRECTOR - CALGARY
CALGARY, ALBERTA T2P 5P7
Pronouns: He/Him/His
COURT OF QUEEN’S BENCH OF ALBERTA

March 26, 2020

Members of the Accredited Media:

I am writing in response to a letter directed to the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench from
accredited media members and journalists representing CBC News and Postmedia in Edmonton
and Calgary, who both routinely cover Court matters and are doing their part to help contain or
prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following the governments' directions pertaining to self-
isolation and social distancing. In particular, the letter raised an inquiry regarding reporting on live
trials or hearings.

As announced on our Court's external website (https://www.albertacourts.ca), only emergency or


urgent matters are presently being heard by the Court. The majority of the Court's matters are being
adjourned. This is in an effort to take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of persons
working in or attending our Courts, while also maintaining access to justice for urgent matters.

At the same time, Court staff are working hard (many from home) to implement electronic
solutions to enable emergency or urgent matters to be heard both in person (physically) and
remotely. These new solutions are also being announced on our Court's external website when
ready for implementation. Among the electronic solutions currently being examined are virtual
Court hearings, which would also provide electronic or remote access to the media.

I cannot offer more details on virtual Court hearings or electronic or remote access to the media at
the time of writing this response, as audiovisual testing is still being conducted. However, I
encourage you to continue to monitor the Court's external website as details become available.

For individual case inquiries, you may continue to monitor the Court's electronic List Serve for
scheduled appearance dates and locations, as well as information on whether the hearing is
proceeding in person (physically) or remotely. If the hearing is proceeding in person (physically),
self-isolation and social distancing protocols will be adhered to. If the hearing is proceeding
remotely, you may contact Tony Blais, the Court's Communications Officer, for details on how to
participate.

Thank you for your continued interest in our Court matters.

Yours truly,

Darryl Ruether
Executive Legal Counsel