Amendments to the Juries Act in Ontario

The current jury system has long been criticized in Ontario, in particular in regards to its diversity and representation. Hints in Ontario’s recent budget suggest some changes are forthcoming. A big part of the reason for Ontario’s problems is that it is jury rolls remain an anomaly in Canada, and are based on specific provisions under the Juries Act. Although the Director of Assessments prepares jury questionnaires based on the provisions in s. 6, based on the inhabitants of the county under s. 15 of the Assessment Act who are Canadian citizens and who will be 18 at the age of selection, this director is still appointed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) to carry out these functions. This effectively excludes any individuals who do not own property, including many renters, students, seniors, spousses, or anyone else who is not explicitly listed on a property title. Quebec’s Jurors Act creates a permanent list of electors in…

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