Public proceedings of the Board

Meeting of the Board of Directors on December 8, 2016


Board members present

John McCamus (Chair), , Michelle Haigh, Carol Hartman, John Liston, James McNee, Michel Robillard, David Field (CEO/Ex Officio)

Staff present

Mary-Ann Cocchetto, Stephanie Mealing

1. Meeting agenda

The Meeting Agenda was adopted.

2. Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest was identified.

3. President and CEO’s report–first instalment

The president and CEO provided an update on preliminary work staff is doing to categorize the different types of policies developed at LAO, such as strategic policies and operational policies.

3.1 OnRISK conference

The Acting Vice-President, Strategic Planning and Compliance, and the Director, Audit & Compliance Unit, made a presentation to the Treasury Board Secretariat on Enterprise Risk Management in the public sector. The new Treasury Board Secretariat Deputy Minister is preparing an education session on risk management for the Treasury Board Committee, and has requested that LAO share its approach, and any supporting materials, for the session.

3.2 Stakeholder engagement

The President and CEO:

  • attended a three-day Gladue Summit in Thunder Bay with key justice participants, including representatives from the Department of Justice, the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) and LAO
  • attended regional planning sessions in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, and met with the local bars in each location
  • met with staff at Client Legal Support Centre (CLSC) district staff days
  • met with the members of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) Working Group on Legal Aid and presented a broad overview of LAO

The President and CEO also met with:

  • Chris Bentley, Executive Director of the Legal Innovation Zone and the Law Practice Program at Ryerson University
  • representatives of the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario

3.3 Bail reform strategy

The Attorney General recently announced a strategy for reducing time to trial and improving the bail system. This strategy will include increasing the number of judges and crowns, and adding 16 new duty counsel in courthouses and correctional institutions. This will result in additional funding in the amount of $4 million for LAO. LAO had already been working on initiatives that support improvements to the bail system including:

  • Pilot projects (1) Toronto South Detention Centre with video bail hearings where staff are at the jail, and (2) Hamilton District with duty counsel attending at Maplehurst and Vanier correctional institutions
  • LAO’s Bail Strategy paper was released on Thursday, which contains a number of recommendations to improve the bail program

MAG also announced that the bail verification program will be expanded across the province, which should improve surety issues.

3.4 Service integration project

The Service Integration project has expanded to three new locations. Electronic worksheets will streamline the process as case and client information will be readily available electronically in real time.

3.5 One-time grant for organizations assisting black students

LAO will be providing a one-time grant in the amount of $200,000 for organizations to provide services to Black students and/or Black families facing educational suspension or expulsion. LAO has received 12 proposals to-date, which will be reviewed in January 2017. The announcement was covered by CITY TV.