05/16/2013 01:07 EDT | Updated 07/16/2013 05:12 EDT

Nova Scotia justice minister concerned about upcoming RCMP forensics lab closure

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's justice minister says he remains concerned the RCMP is planning to close a forensics laboratory in Halifax.

Ross Landry says he's unhappy about the loss of jobs and he's disappointed the cut announced last year came after the provincial government completed contract negotiations with the Mounties.

A spokeswoman for his department says the RCMP has informed the province it will close the lab in 2014 as part of a national consolidation of six labs into three locations.

The RCMP announced in May 2012 that labs in Regina, Winnipeg and Halifax will close and their work will be handled in Edmonton, Vancouver and Ottawa.

They said the move will save $3.5 million a year.

Landry says his department plans to monitor whether the remaining labs maintain the existing turnaround times on DNA and forensics analysis.

Halifax defence lawyers have said they're worried the closure will lead to delays and infringe on their clients' right to a timely trial.