Law Society of Upper Canada

Law Society of Upper Canada

September 24, 2009 16:51 ET

Law Society Thanks Attorney General for His Work on Legal Aid

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2009) - Convocation, the Law Society's Board of Governors, today endorsed the comments of the Alliance for Sustainable Legal Aid (ASLA) in their letter to the Honourable Chris Bentley, Attorney General of Ontario, the text of which is included below. Convocation thanked the Attorney General for his work to increase Legal Aid Ontario's funding.


Dear Minister:

ASLA members appreciate the dedicated work you have put into the achievement of additional funding for legal aid, culminating in $150 million expendable over four years, in the absence of any federal contribution. Although we remain concerned that greater funding is required to address Legal Aid's immediate and long term needs, we are committed to working with you to ensure the new funds start to bring about significant improvements to the provision of legal aid and are best used to serve the needs of the vulnerable in Ontario.

We believe the principles necessary to ensure this result include,

  • An equitable distribution of the new funds among the areas of service.
  • A fair implementation process to ensure that the interests of clients are protected and that existing services are not reduced.
  • An evaluation that assesses improvements and expansion to services offered, not funds expended.
  • Focusing the expenditures on initiatives that support and promote front line legal services and advice, to ensure that lawyers remain engaged in the provision of legal aid services.

We look forward to working with you on the details of implementation.

Yours very truly,
Raoul Boulakia, Chair
Alliance for Sustainable Legal Aid

The members of ASLA are the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario, The Advocates' Society, the County and District Law Presidents' Association, the Criminal Lawyers' Association, the Family Lawyers' Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association, and the Refugee Lawyers' Association.

Contact Information

  • The Law Society of Upper Canada
    Roy Thomas
    Director of Communications