LAO Newsroom

LAO review committee to advise on implementation of refugee services transformation initiatives

Posted on: Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has created a refugee services operations review committee to advise LAO on the implementation of changes to its refugee services program. The committee will provide input on the implementation of changes to LAO’s refugee staff offices in Toronto and Ottawa, and the role of clinics, agencies, paralegals and the private bar in the delivery of refugee services, among other areas.

The committee will meet monthly (either in person or via teleconference) for a year, commencing in May 2013. It will be comprised of LAO management and staff and refugee stakeholders. The stakeholders will provide advice in their personal capacity and not as representatives of a particular association or agency.

Members of the committee include:

  • Committee chair, Vicki Moretti, LAO’s Vice President of the GTA District and executive sponsor of the refugee services transformation project
  • Toronto immigration lawyer Chantal Desloges, founder and principal of CDPC, a full service boutique immigration law firm
  • Ottawa immigration and refugee lawyer Warren Creates
  • Mary Gharwal, a representative from COSTI Immigrant Services (a community-based multicultural agency that supports immigrant communities, new Canadians and individuals in need of assistance)
  • Aissa Nauthoo, Director – Legal Services, from Centre Francophone de Toronto (a legal aid clinic)
  • Licensed paralegal Paul Dray, former LAO board member and chair of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Paralegal Standing Committee
  • Melinda Gayda, a staff lawyer in LAO’s Refugee Law Office
  • A representative from LAO’s Policy Department
  • Maureen Hastings, Director, Administration, Civil and Immigration Services in LAO’s GTA District Office
  • Kristian Justesen, LAO’s Director of Communications & Stakeholder Relations
  • James McNee, LAO’s Board liaison


If you have any questions or require further information please contact:

Jawad Kassab,
Director Corporate Services, Planning & Strategic Initiatives

Maureen Hastings
Director, Administration, Civil and Immigration Law Services (GTA Region)