Report finds Natives underrepresented on Ont. juries

Former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci. (Reuters files)

Former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci. (Reuters files)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 4:47 PM ET

TORONTO — Significant changes are recommended after a review of aboriginal representation on juries found a “crisis” in the Ontario justice system.

Independent reviewer Frank Iacobucci, a former Supreme Court justice, released his report, First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries, Tuesday that called on the province to take steps to increase the number of Aboriginal Peoples serving on juries.

“For Ontario’s First Nations peoples, particularly in the north, the justice system and juries process generally are in a crisis,” Iacobucci said in a statement.

A key recommendation is cultural training for justice officials — including police, court workers, correctional officers and Crown attorneys — who have contact with First Nations peoples.

The Ontario government should study using its existing databases, such as OHIP, to add more aboriginals to the jury rolls, the report says.


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