Clinic refugee service agreements
Published: August 8, 2019
As part of LAO’s transformation of its refugee services program, LAO entered into service agreements with the Centre Francophone de Toronto, Rexdale Community Legal Clinic, and Vanier Community Centre in Ottawa. All three clinics will provide legal aid services to refugees who do not have lawyers, as part of a one‑year pilot agreement with Legal Aid Ontario.
This innovative community‑based initiative is an important milestone in LAO’s efforts to diversify its refugee services model, support community‑based client services and deliver cost‑effective, efficient, quality legal representation.
Le Centre Francophone de Toronto and the Vanier Community Centre Ottawa are hubs for providing French-language services, including health, employment, settlement, housing and cultural services, services critical to successful integration of refugees. Both clinics will serve French‑speaking refugee claimants from countries such as Burundi, Rwanda, and the Congo Republic.
Rexdale Community Legal Clinic, part of the Rexdale Community Hub, will provide supervised licensed paralegal services for refugee claimants (primarily from Nigeria, Somalia and Pakistan) living within its catchment area. The Rexdale hub also provides health, social, legal, employment and cultural services.
All three clinics will:
- prepare Basis of Claim (BoC) forms and file them with the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board
- prepare for and represent claimants at hearings of the RPD until the decision has been rendered
These three pilots will be evaluated to ensure they enhance client services to this vulnerable group, deliver quality refugee representation and value for taxpayers.