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Access to Justice


Thursday, May 16, 2019 @ 11:51 AM

Ontario’s legal aid cuts strike most vulnerable | George Thomson

Compounding the government’s numerous other cuts to programs and services for Ontario’s most vulnerable, Ontario’s attorney general has opted to make things worse by slashing their capacity to receive legal help and to be heard in our courts and tribunals. She and the government have done this by imposing much larger cuts on legal aid than on her Ministry as a whole, protecting other Ministry programs while dramatically reducing access to justice for people who need legal assistance. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 @ 2:11 PM

Parental benefits: one size does not fit all prof w baby_sm.jpg

“Your Honour, before we begin I just wanted to apologize for my attire. I had a baby eight weeks ago and don’t yet fit back into my robes.” This is what I uttered at the beginning of a guardianship hearing in February 2018. No longer pregnant, it was not obvious why my robes didn’t fit and I didn’t want my open waistcoat to become a distraction or make me appear forgetful or sloppy. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 3:11 PM

Chief Justice Wagner reaches out to Canadians via video; SCC will hear appeals outside Ottawa for first time Richard Wagner

Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner will lead the top court to sit outside Ottawa for the first time in its 144-year history and, in another novel move, he announced that historic development to Canadians via a personal video statement posted on social media. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 1:11 PM

Turning lost evidence into win for criminal defence lawyers retailsurveillance_orig.jpg

When it comes to criminal cases, most people are aware that the police are responsible for the investigation phase. What is not commonly understood is that police not only have a duty to seize evidence, they also must preserve it. An interesting legal issue can arise where they fail to fulfil that duty. ... [read more]

Monday, May 13, 2019 @ 9:27 AM

Response time, dispute resolution should be addressed as part of CRA consultation: lawyers Bradley Bryan, University of Victoria faculty of law

The Beatles may have lamented the fact the taxman in the U.K. didn’t like you giving your opinions, but the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has launched a public consultation process with an eye to getting input on how it operates and how it can improve the services it offers. “Our government is committed to ensuring that the CRA puts people at the centre of everything it does,” said National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier. ... [read more]

Monday, May 13, 2019 @ 9:22 AM

Ontario goes beyond common law in proposed Crown liability act crown_umbrella_sm

The much discussed proposed Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, 2019, (CLAPA) is contained in Schedule 17 of Ontario’s 2019 budget bill. If enacted, CLAPA would repeal the Proceedings Against the Crown Act (PACA), which has served as a litigator’s roadmap to suing the provincial Crown in Ontario since 1963. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 09, 2019 @ 11:06 AM

Determining best interests of trans and gender non-conforming children Transgender_jpg

Family court judges are increasingly being asked to make decisions revolving around a child’s transgender identity or gender non-conforming (GNC) behaviour. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 08, 2019 @ 1:31 PM

Lawyers, doctors protest Ontario cuts to legal aid, immigration advocacy Legal_Aid_Demonstration_sm

A May 7 rally at Ontario’s legislature by lawyers and doctors protesting cuts to legal aid was about “life and death” for vulnerable people in need of advocacy, says an organizer. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 08, 2019 @ 8:33 AM

Cutting legal aid for refugee claimants is lose-lose cutting_money_sm

The first time I worked on a refugee file was in 1983. As a law student at Osgoode Hall Law School’s Community and Legal Aid Services Program, I interviewed a young man who came into the clinic. He had escaped a repressive African country where he was imprisoned and tortured because he attended a peaceful demonstration. My supervisor ended up instructing me to refer him to a lawyer who could take on his case with a legal aid certificate, because the matter was too complex for a law student to handle. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 07, 2019 @ 1:01 PM

Ford cuts, Goldstein column, revisited | Scott Reid

It was with dismay bordering on disbelief that I read Sam Goldstein’s article in The Lawyer’s Daily regarding crime victim compensation. ... [read more]