Public proceedings of the Board

Meeting of the Board of Directors on June 23, 2016


Board members present

John McCamus (Chair), Nancy Cooper, John Liston, James McNee, Tim Murphy, Michel Robillard, James Yakimovich, David Field (CEO/Ex Officio)

Staff present

Sue McCaffrey, Stephanie Mealing

1. Meeting agenda

The meeting agenda was adopted.

2. Disclosure of conflict of interest

No conflict of interest was identified.

3. President and CEOs report (first instalment)

The President and CEO reported on the following:

3.1 Stakeholder relations

He has been meeting with a number of associations and advised that he made a presentation to a meeting of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA). He reported that he has met, and will continue to meet, with staff in various locations throughout the Province.

3.2 Media

There is quite a lot of activity with respect to Legal Aid Ontario and justice issues in the media. He noted that he responded to an article with respect to the Truth and Reconciliation Report, an inaccurate opinion-editorial article by the Toronto Star Editorial Board, and other articles which raise issues in which LAO has an interest.

3.3 Staff

He has recruited an Executive Advisor to the President and CEO to provide support with respect to legal and other issues.

3.4 Federal funding

Staff from LAO have been meeting with members of the Federal, Provincial, Territorial Working Group with respect to a new formula for the distribution of federal legal aid funding.

3.5 Refugee funding

LAO has prepared and delivered to the Department of Justice, a Business Case for additional refugee funding. The potential lifting of visa requirements for Mexican refugees could have serious implications for LAO services.

3.6 Open data strategy

The Ministry of the Attorney General has asked LAO to provide an inventory of its databases. LAO will work with the Ministry with respect to what it will make publicly available.

3.7 Client and Lawyer Service Centre (CLSC)

Call volume has increased by over 30 per cent over 2015, primarily as a result of the expansion of financial and legal eligibility. However, additional resources have resulted in lower caller wait times.

3.8 Justice modernization initiatives

In order for the implementation of a second Judicial Pre-Trial (JTP) initiative to work, LAO committed two hours of additional time for complex cases, in the hope that a lower collapse rate will reduce LAOs trial costs.

3.9 Clinic modernization

There are a number of different clinic projects in progress, including Information Technology projects, the Clinic Information Management System (CIMS) roll-out, and financial eligibility funding. There is a need to set priorities among the various projects.

3.10 Financial eligibility issues

LAO will need to ensure that it can demonstrate the results of the Provinces investment in financial eligibility.