Accused elected trial by Judge and Jury in November 2018 and argued that the amendments to the Code abolishing peremptory challenges affect substantive rights and do not apply to retrospectively. Crown argued the amendments affect only procedural rights and apply retrospectively from September 19, 2019.

Held: The amendments to peremptory challenges in Bill C-75 operate prospectively.

The Court reviewed the numerous cases on both sides, including Raymond [2019 NBQB 203] and Subramaniam [2019 BCSC 1601] and noted, “in Parliament’s own Charter statement there is a recognition that ‘The elimination of peremptory challenges from the Criminal Code may engage the fair trial rights of the accused as protected by sections 11(d) and 11(f) of the Charter’.” The Bill C-75 amendment to peremptory challenges “clearly affects substantive rights” and is prospective in its effect.

D. Boisvert – Defence Counsel