Public proceedings of the Board

Meeting of the Board of Directors on May 13, 2016


Board members present

John McCamus (Chair), Nancy Cooper, Christa Freiler, Michelle Haigh, Carol Hartman, James McNee, Derry Millar, Michel Robillard, James Yakimovich, David Field (CEO/Ex Officio)

Staff present

Sue McCaffrey, Stephanie Mealing

1. Opening remarks

The Chair thanked the retreat sub-committee of the Board—Nancy Cooper, Christa Freiler and James McNee—for their work in suggesting topics of interest for the Board retreat and strategic planning session. He also thanked the Acting Vice-President, Strategic Planning and Compliance for his support in developing the program.

2. Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest was identified.

3. Environmental scan, opportunities and risks and strategic planning

The Acting Vice-President, Strategic Planning and Compliance presented the environmental scan and discussed how changes in financial and legal eligibility are having an impact on legal aid services and indicated there has been an increase in demand for refugee law services. He reported that the Justice on Target initiative is still working toward meeting its objectives of reducing court appearances and length of proceedings.

4. CEO’s vision for LAO

The President and CEO presented his Strategic Directions and Priorities for Legal Aid Ontario report.

5. Board self-evaluation exercise

The Vice-President and General Counsel conducted the Board self-evaluation exercise.

6. Challenges in serving remote communities

The Chair welcomed lawyer Patricia Faries, a former chief of Moose Cree First Nation and a member of the province’s Aboriginal Justice Advisory Group. She presented the Challenges in serving clients in the remote north report.

7. Improving access to Legal Aid Ontario’s services through technology

The Chair introduced Ian Shelley, a management consultant with Blackline Consulting. He presented, What a Board should be asking about technology and client access—a report on strategy, risk and governance issues for Legal Aid Ontario.

8. Making family law more accessible

The Chair introduced Professor Nicholas Bala, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University. Professor Bala presented a discussion paper on making family law more accessible.