Accused charged with numerous sexual assault related offences. Original election was Provincial Court. Accused changed counsel and the trial date was adjourned twice. As the third trial date approached, accused sought to re-elect by right to judge and jury pursuant to s 561(2) CC.

Held: Application denied.

A trial by jury is a right, but not an obligation: Turpin, [1989] 1 SCR 1296. Time limitations play an important role in regulating criminal procedure. In s 561(2) CC, Parliament intended to impose precise time limitations on re-elections by right. The phrase “day first appointed for trial” is not ambiguous, and this limitation upon the right to re-elect must “not be interpreted in a fashion that promotes delay or inefficiency, or otherwise operates in a fashion that undermines the integrity of the administration of justice”: Brahaney, 2016 ONCJ 395 (CanLII).

K. Sproule – Defence Counsel