On December 9th, our Attorney General, Doug Downey, introduced the “Smarter and Stronger Justice Act 2019” in the Legislature.
Worthy of note for those who do legal aid work is that he has announced that Legal Aid Ontario 2020-2021 funding will be maintained at its current levels. More on the Legal Aid Services Act can be found starting at Schedule 15 (p 9 of the Act attached here).
For those in real estate law, he announced amendments to the Commissioners for taking Affidavits Act (Schedule 5 – p4) and the Notaries Act (Schedule 17 – p11). In both cases, the lawyer will no longer need to be in the physical presence of the client. Ontarians will now be able to complete real estate transactions online. The Notaries Act will also allow Paralegals to act as Notaries. Law Society Treasurer Malcolm Mercer endorsed these changes.
For those in wills and estates, he announced amendments to the Estates Act (Schedule 9 -p6).
Schedule 12 – p7 covers amendments to the Juries Act so that the address of a person selected to be on a panel list is not included in the list.
Here is a link to the press release: https://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2019/12/building-a-stronger-justice-system-to-grow-safer-communities.html