Jury trials on hold, will eventually resume in Gore Bay

SUDBURY – Sources familiar with the issue of where Island jury trials will be held during the pandemic restrictions have indicated that the trials will be held at The Inn at Gore Bay complex and conference centre, but it may well be some time before any such trials are held.

A plan had been in play to hold Manitoulin jury trials at Laurentian University in Sudbury, but the reaction of Island communities was swift and overwhelmingly negative, leading to a reassessment of options. The court house complex in Gore Bay was not an option due to a lack of sufficient space to enable physical distancing for jurors and staff.

A number of potential locations were assessed by staff at the Ontario Attorney General’s office, including the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre in Little Current. According to informed sources, the decision to keep jury trials on Manitoulin Island has been made in favour of the Inn at Gore Bay. 

But as the region covered by Public Health Sudbury and Districts has been placed in the yellow zone of the province’s colour coded pandemic restrictions chart, all jury trials in the region have been put on hold. Jury trials are proceeding in Sault Ste. Marie, as that region is coded as “green” and so not under the stricter regulations of a yellow zone.