Legal Aid Investment Supports Ontario's Vulnerable
McGuinty Government Supports Legal Aid Ontario Transformation
Ontario is investing in Ontario's legal aid system to protect our most vulnerable and help to drive significant reforms in our family and criminal courts.
The plan will contribute to the province's overall justice reforms by providing early and ongoing legal support to Ontarians. It will focus on more effective justice, allowing Ontarians to resolve their disputes faster and move on with their lives. In addition, working advisory groups will be established immediately to work out the details of the transformation and specific proposals such as the use of block fees.
Ontarians will benefit from more solutions, and a client-centred approach that will offer advice and advocacy to avoid homelessness and unsafe housing, help mitigate the range of poverty issues affecting new Canadians, and allow children, their parents, and service providers to participate in healthier, more collaborative approaches that will help them resolve disputes earlier. People will have access to the legal support they need, in the way they need it.
- Under the plan the McGuinty government will invest an additional $150 million over four years in Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). This is the province's largest investment in LAO.
- Almost 70 per cent of family legal aid cases involve women making $22,000 or less per year.
“I am pleased to be able to deliver on this commitment and announce the single largest investment in Legal Aid Ontario history. We see an approach to legal aid where children, their parents and Ontario's most vulnerable can access a faster, less confrontational and simpler system. As a lawyer who did legal aid cases for twenty-five years, I am confident that the bar shares these same goals of poverty reduction and providing legal support to vulnerable Ontarians. We are setting up working advisory groups so that they can work with us to help us achieve these goals.”
“We are delighted that the government found a way to make a significant investment in legal aid. It will allow us to help poor and lower income families with a comprehensive range of services as well as allowing us to help make Ontario's justice system more effective.”