News Release Archive

Saying "I do" in Nova Scotia is about to get a little easier.

Effective July 1, justices of the peace will be able to perform
civil ceremonies in Nova Scotia, provided they have the necessary
training and are registered with the Department of Business and
Consumer Services.

Of the 258 justices of the peace in Nova Scotia, 202 have
completed the training through the Department of Justice and are
now registered to perform marriages. This brings the province in
line with other jurisdictions across the country that also allow
justices of the peace to perform civil marriages along with
judges of the family, provincial and Supreme courts. The change
was made possible through legislation passed this April.

"We want to provide additional choices for Nova Scotians," said
Justice Minister Alan Mitchell. "There certainly won't be
Vegas-style wedding chapels on every corner, but couples will now
have additional options when they plan a civil ceremony."   

Individuals may choose to have a civil wedding performed in a
courthouse, or can make arrangements with a justice of the peace
to hold the ceremony in another location. The cost of a
courthouse wedding is $50 plus HST. When the ceremony is
performed elsewhere, the cost is left to the parties involved to

Individuals may obtain a list of justices of the peace authorized
to perform weddings at any court, or from any issuer of marriage
licences. Also, information on when marriages can be performed in
a courthouse can be obtained from any courthouse.

Justices of the peace provide backup when police require
authorization for search warrants or authorization to remand an
individual into custody. Justices of the peace act under the
general supervision and direction of the chief judges of the
provincial and family courts. Training is offered regularly in
areas of their responsibilities.


Contact: Michele McKinnon
         Department of Justice

trp                     June 27, 1997 - 11:20 a.m.