New technologies providing instant access to legal aid services

Posted on: Friday, October 1, 2010

CBC interview | Audio
WMV file / 8:13
From the CBC Radio program The Great Northwest

President and CEO of Legal Aid Ontario, Bob Ward, discussed in a CBC interview how Northern Ontario residents are benefiting from Legal Aid Ontario’s enhanced services. Speaking to the Great Northwest morning radio show in Thunder Bay, Mr. Ward and Jennifer Carten, the local district area director, explained how the new technologies and innovations behind enhanced phone and web based services are helping clients access legal aid resources and information, no matter where they’re located in the province. These innovations are helping even those living in small remote communities in Northern Ontario contact Legal Aid Ontario conveniently and with less delay.

To support individuals across Ontario who may face linguistic challenges, callers to the toll-free call centre can receive service in over 120 languages including 18 aboriginal dialects. “This is a tremendous step forward”, said Ward, “particularly for new Canadians and others who don’t speak the two official languages as easily.”

Currently, almost 44 per cent of the 1,300 daily callers to the toll-free service visit Legal Aid Ontario’s enhanced website to get some preliminary information before speaking with a representative on the phone. Enhanced phone and web services are among the ways Legal Aid Ontario is developing low-cost, high-impact services and providing increased value for money.

Ward was in Thunder Bay today and will visit Kenora next week as he continues to speak with stakeholders and justice partners about LAO’s enhanced toll free, online and courthouse-based services.