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Babine Coroner’s Jury has no First Nations members

During the first day of hearings at the Babine Forest Products inquest, it was noted by some family members of the deceased that none of the jurors appear to be First Nations.

Burns Lake has a large First Nations community, and the mill employed many Aboriginal workers.

Maureen Luggi is the wife of Robert Luggi, one of the employees who died in the explosion.

She says she’s disappointed that a First Nations juror couldn’t be found.

But counsel for the coroner, John Orr, explains the constraints the Sheriff’s service faced when looking for potential jurors.

He says the Sheriffs went above and beyond looking for jurors to accurately reflect the demographics of the area.

The jurors also must have a reasonable knowledge of the industry in which the workplace accident took place, which further limits the pool of people available.

Orr says he doesn’t believe the ethnicity of the jurors will have an impact on the inquest.

He says that he’s more concerned of a repeat of the Lakeland Mills inquest where two jurors had to be excused because of their close ties to the victims.

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