New Ontario regulation paves way for aboriginal inquests to proceed

The result will be a traditional or regular roll of jurors, plus a volunteer list.

“We’re supplementing or making a composite list to reflect the population in those districts,” Huyer explained.

The coroner said the changes won’t guarantee there’ll be an aboriginal on the actual jury in the room when the inquests start. The coroner’s constable is responsible for pulling together the five-member panel, after screening for issues such as bias and relationship or professional connections to the persons who are the focus of the inquests.

But Huyer said the new regulation will be a tool for ensuring that the rolls jurors are chosen from are proportionately representative of the aboriginal populations in the Kenora and Thunder Bay districts.

Twelve long-awaited inquests into the deaths of aboriginals — including seven young people — are set to proceed following a lengthy delay beset with questions about Ontario’s jury system. As first reported by the Star, Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s chief coroner, abruptly halted the Kenora and Thunder Bay-area inquests last year amid concerns about the lack…




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