B.C. Lawyers Offer Doug Ford A 'Cautionary Tale' On Legal Aid Cuts - 2019-08-18
Legal Aid Ontario provides certificates that eligible people can use to hire a lawyer and operates 73 community legal clinics with lawyers and paralegals onsite. Maclaren actually recommended that B.C.'s government design a legal clinic system like Ontario's in his report. "I mentioned Ontario's clinic system time and again in that report, not expecting that the Ford government would begin to dismantle that really impactful system." Lawyers in Ontario are beginning to worry that the Ford government cuts will decimate the province's legal clinic system. At a background briefing in June, officials from Legal Aid Ontario told HuffPost how they would hand down budget cuts to legal clinics. The cuts resulted in layoffs at multiple clinics and some workers are now taking voluntary pay cuts to keep their jobs. Watch: The federal government is funding one part of Ontario's legal aid system after the Ford government's cuts. Story continues after video.
The agency only made about $70 million to $75 million in cuts to its services this year. It will have to find another $90 million in savings next year and the year after to account for the Progressive Conservatives' cuts. "There's very little more we can do on the clinic side right now," the chair of Legal Aid Ontario, Charles Harnick, said at the briefing. "The only other way to establish real savings in the area of the clinics is around some kind of restructuring," he said. "We are not there yet. We're certainly going to be talking about that." The Ministry of the Attorney General is working with Legal Aid Ontario on what it calls a "modernization review" of its services.
In British Columbia, what we saw was essentially the elimination of the clinic system. Lenny Abramowicz