More and more people in Ontario need affordable legal services and qualify for legal aid. However, on April 11th the provincial government announced a 30% reduction in funding to Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). The Ontario government also directed LAO to stop using provincial funds for immigration and refugee services.
On April 15th LAO announced it would suspend a majority of services for refugees and migrants, including certificates for refugee hearing preparation, representation at hearings, appeals to the Refugee Appeal Division, Federal Court reviews of negative decisions, detention reviews, Pre Removal Risk Assessment, and Humanitarian and Compassionate applications.
Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS), which has been a strong ally in the Fight for 15 campaign, numerous housing campaigns, and is a strong progressive ally, is under specific threat. The current PCLS lease ends on July 31st, 2019 and we have been busy preparing to enter an adequate new office space in the community on August 1st. LAO had approved the new lease in principle, but has since withdrawn their support. They are unwilling to commit to more than one year of funding or to assist with moving or set up costs.This decision, mere months before our expected move, puts the continuation of our services in serious doubt. The alternative option presented was for the clinic to move out of our community where we have been situated for nearly 50 years.
Please support Parkdale Legal Clinic’s move here.