Come the new year, there will be at least one new face in the halls of the courthouse in Port Coquitlam.
The province announced Tuesday plans to add nine new judges to community courts across B.C., including one in Port Coquitlam.
According to a Ministry of Justice press release, it costs the province close to $1.6 million annually to support a judge, including the judge's salary and costs for court administration staff, sheriffs, prosecution services and judicial support.
The appointments will all take place within the next seven weeks.
There are now 132 full-time equivalent judges in B.C.
The press release also noted the province and the Office of the Chief Judge have signed a protocol agreement to work together on two backlog reduction projects. As part of the agreement, the chief judge will assign the equivalent of one full-time judge to the projects over the next year.
One of the projects will start in spring 2013 and focus on reducing pending child protection cases in selected courthouse locations. A second backlog reduction project will begin later in 2013 and focus on reducing the criminal case backlog.