FOLA has been busy this month with a series of important meetings with both the Attorney General and the Chair of Legal Aid Ontario. Below is a brief overview of those meetings.
1). Association for the Sustainability of Legal Aid (ASLA) meeting with Ontario’s Attorney General at the Ministry – Aug 14, 2019
FOLA Executive Director Katie Robinette attended in person while FOLA LAO Chair Terry Brandon was present by teleconference to discuss the recent cuts to Legal Aid Ontario and the upcoming review of the Legal Aid Services Act.
List of organizations at the table:
Chair of Legal Aid Ontario
Legal Aid Ontario staff
Attorney General of Ontario
Law Society of Ontario
Refugee Lawyers Association
Criminal Lawyers Association
Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario
Ontario Bar Association
Mental Health Legal Committee
Each stakeholder group presented 2-minute oral submissions for consideration by the Attorney General and, given the short amount of time offered to each, the Minister did welcome additional written submissions as follow up.
FOLA stressed the negative impact that these cuts have on the public, plus the resulting negative impact on the operation of the judicial system. We also stressed the importance of both the role of duty counsel and the certificate program. FOLA echoed many comments put forward by the Criminal Lawyers Association and the Family Law Lawyers Association, as our members overlap and the concerns regarding legal aid are shared.
CONTINUE READING: Legal Aid Update - Aug 2019 - FINAL