Alberta Justice says courthouse gave ‘inaccurate information’ about tissues, water not being provided

An Alberta Justice official has confirmed Global News reports that court staff told people tissues and water would no longer be provided, but she says they were “mistaken.”

Global News relied on multiple sources for its reports, which Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer strongly questioned.

He said he believes Global News “fell victim to a rumour mill and ran with the story a little too premature,” and added that “tissues will still be provided to witnesses and water to both witnesses and the judiciary. This has – and will not – change.”

After hearing Schweitzer’s comments Wednesday, a woman from Three Hills contacted Global News to dispute the minister’s remarks.

After speaking with Walters, Global News reached out to Schweitzer’s press secretary for comment.

Just after noon on Thursday, a reply came from an official in the justice ministry’s resolution and court administration services department.

“As confirmed yesterday, witnesses testifying in Alberta courtrooms will continue to be provided with water and tissues by clerks – this has not and will not change,” Mary MacDonald, an assistant deputy minister of justice, said in the email.

“It appears that inaccurate information was mistakenly shared at the courthouse without the knowledge of the department.

“The continued availability of water and tissues is being clarified with court staff to reassure witnesses and those who support them that water and tissues will continue to be available as they always have been and to ensure that no potential mistakes happen again.”

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