WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government says it’s working to modernize the province’s court system, with plans to increase compensation for serving jury duty, and to give civil claims a consistent statute of limitations.
Two bills being considered by the legislature would alter how courts operate in the province. One, Bill 51, would shorten civil litigation time limits to two years in most cases, with the exception of crimes like sexual assault.
The other, Bill 46, would increase how much people on a jury are paid, and make sure they’re paid right away, rather than getting nothing for the first 10 days. Currently jurors in Manitoba are paid $30 per day starting on the 11th day of a trial.
In 2018, a House of Commons committee suggested that provinces boost their jury pay rates and cover jurors’ travel expenses. A study by the Canadian Juries Commission last year found the only thing Canadians rated worse than jury duty was volunteering at a hospital during a pandemic.
Bill 46 would also allow those convicted of a non-indictable crime to serve on a jury - provided the offence wasn’t considered serious.