LAO Newsroom




Ontario Raising Legal Aid Eligibility Threshold Another 6%

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Ontario is taking another step to enhance access to legal aid by raising the financial eligibility threshold by six per cent.

By working together with Legal Aid Ontario, the province provides low-income Ontarians access to legal services in areas such as criminal, family, immigration, mental health and poverty law. Ontario's 2014 budget committed to increasing the eligibility threshold by six percent each year over three years. This increase marks the second threshold increase.

This marks a $31.5 million investment by the Province into the legal aid system for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

As a result of these two increases, an additional 250,000 low-income Ontarians are now eligible to receive legal aid.

Legal Aid Ontario provides services to low-income Ontarians, including:

  • Representation for urgent or serious matters such as child protection cases
  • Advice about legal rights, obligations, and court processes
  • Assistance in the court room for bail hearings and sentencing
  • Local legal services from a community clinic, such as social assistance and housing law

Enhancing legal aid for Ontario's most vulnerable is part of the government's plan to ensure a fair and accessible justice system for all.

Quotes

"It's important that low-income Ontarians have access to the legal services they need. Our government is committed to building a justice system that supports everyone, including our most vulnerable. We will continue to work with Legal Aid Ontario to implement this plan."

— Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General of Ontario

"This will allow more low-income Ontarians to obtain legal help and will improve access to justice in our province. I commend the provincial government for improving services available to people living in poverty and marginalized communities."

— John McCamus, Chair, Legal Aid Ontario

Quick facts

  • Legal Aid Ontario has recently announced increased clinic funding as part of the financial eligibility expansion.
  • Prior to the 2014 Provincial Budget, the threshold had not changed since the 1990s. As a result, more and more Ontarians have been unable to afford legal representation in the court system.

Learn more

Questions

Genevieve Oger
Bilingual senior communications media relations officer
Legal Aid Ontario
Phone: (416) 979-2352, ext. 5208
Cell: (416) 768-4461
Email: ogerg@lao.on.ca or media@lao.on.ca


Christine Burke
Minister's Office
Ministry of the Attorney General
Phone: (416) 326-3266


Brandon Crawley
Communications Branch
Ministry of the Attorney General
Phone: (416) 326-2210