Responses to recent media enquiries
Response to the Toronto Star
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
LAO recently responded to a commentary that appeared in the January 9, 2013 edition of the Toronto Star.
The description of Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) services for landlord tenant issues in the commentary ‘Ontarians with mental disabilities lost in legal system’ is wrong and does not reflect the legal aid services available for eligible clients including persons with mental illness.
Legal Aid Ontario issues certificates to eligible clients for landlord tenant disputes.
Additionally, LAO provides more than $70 million in funding for 77 community and specialty legal clinics, six Student Legal Aid Services Societies (SLASS) and Tenant Duty Counsel across Ontario that provide legal assistance and representation for low-income people with landlord/tenant and income maintenance disputes. Tenant Duty Counsel are lawyers and community legal workers who provide assistance for low-income people at most Landlord and Tenant Board locations in the province. In 2011/12, Tenant Duty Counsel provided 79,141 assists.
In 2011/12, community and specialty legal clinics, SLASS, and Tenant Duty Counsel funded by LAO had 206,213 active client files.
LAO is actively working to further strengthen services to clients with mental illness. In July 2012, LAO announced development of a comprehensive Mental Health Strategy. The Strategy has begun reviewing all LAO services for clients with mental illness, and will be developing recommendations for public consultation in 2013.