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Harnick nominated as new chair of Legal Aid Ontario

Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 1:59 PM | By John Chunn

Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney announced on March 13 that Charles Harnick has been nominated as the new chair of Legal Aid Ontario.

“Charles Harnick has a long-standing commitment to improving access to justice and a track record of achieving results,” said Mulroney. “I have no doubt that Charles will be focused on improving outcomes for Legal Aid Ontario's clients.”

“The law society believes that legal aid is integral to a fair and equitable justice system. Charles Harnick's contributions to modernizing Legal Aid Ontario are well established. We are confident that his leadership will help ensure robust and sustainable legal aid services in Ontario,” said Malcolm M. Mercer, Law Society of Ontario (LSO) treasurer. “The law society’s involvement in the selection of the chair and half of the board of directors of Legal Aid Ontario reflects our significant participation in and commitment to legal aid.”

According to the Ontario government’s press release, Harnick has spent his career as a lawyer, negotiator, government relations specialist, mediator and arbitrator. He was called to the bar in 1977. In 1992, he was designated as Queen’s Counsel by the government of Canada.

In 1995, Harnick was appointed Ontario’s 31st attorney general. While attorney general, he introduced the Legal Aid Services Act, 1998 that created Legal Aid Ontario.

In 2005, the LSO awarded Harnick the Law Society Medal in recognition of his significant contribution to the legal profession.

Harnick's nomination was made in accordance with section 5 of the Legal Aid Services Act, 1998 and remains subject to review by the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Government Agencies.