Ontario Raising Legal Aid Eligibility Threshold by Another 6 Per Cent
Province Helping Nearly 400,000 More People Get Access to Legal Services
Ontario is giving more people access to affordable legal services by increasing the financial eligibility threshold for Legal Aid Ontario by six per cent, effective immediately.
Legal Aid Ontario provides low-income Ontarians with access to legal services in areas such as criminal, family, immigration, mental health and poverty law. Ontario's 2014 budget committed to increasing the eligibility threshold by six per cent each year over three years, and today's increase is the third.
This year's investment amounts to over $48.8 million and as a result of these three combined threshold increases, nearly 400,000 more people will have access to legal aid services.
Enhancing legal aid for Ontario's most vulnerable is part of Ontario's plan to create a justice system that is modern and responsive to the needs of the people it serves. A simpler, faster and more accessible justice system helps to create a fair society, encourages investment in our communities, and makes life easier by lowering costs and improving convenience and choice.
- Since 2003, Ontario has invested over $3 billion in Legal Aid Ontario which has helped Ontarians access: representation for urgent or serious matters; advice about legal rights, obligations and court processes; assistance in the court room for bail hearings and sentencing; and local legal services from a community clinic, in areas such as social assistance and housing law.
- See the new legal aid financial eligibility guidelines.
“By improving access to legal aid services in Ontario, we are empowering our most vulnerable and giving them the support and services they need. I am committed to continue working with Legal Aid Ontario to ensure our justice system meets the needs of everyone.”
“This third increase in Legal Aid Ontario’s financial eligibility threshold, supported by the government since 2014, will enable us to further improve access to justice across this province. We commend the provincial government for its continued support of legal services for Ontario’s most marginalized and needy people.”