Meeting of the board of directors on December 6, 2018
Published: December 6, 2018
1. Board members
1.1 Board members present
John McCamus (Chair), Nancy Cooper, Christa Freiler, James McNee, Michel Robillard, James Yakimovich, Ann Marie Yantz, David Field (CEO/ex officio)
Janet Budgell, Mary‑Ann Cocchetto, Stephanie Mealing
Remy Boulbol, Carol Hartman, Derry Millar, Tim Murphy
2. Meeting agenda
The meeting agenda was adopted.
3. Disclosure of conflict of interest
No disclosure of conflict of interest was identified.
4. President’s report
The president and CEO reported as follows:
4.1 Overview of MPP outreach
Directors general are reaching out to MPPs with basic information about LAO, develop a relationship, and confirm LAO’s support for their constituents. 73 of the 124 members of the provincial legislature are new to the role, and it was felt they would benefit from increased knowledge of LAO. Clinics have developed their own plan to brief MPPs on the basics of clinic and poverty law services. Clients often seek advice from constituency offices on issues like landlord and tenant problems, ODSP appeals and family law matters. The president attended an event at Rexdale Community Legal Clinic and spoke with a representative from the premier’s riding to provide information about LAO services and financial eligibility. A number of directors general have been contacted by MPPs with questions on the impact of the Auditor General of Ontario’s Value for Money Audit Report.
4.2 Financial update
The board discussed the government’s planned ODSP reform initiative and whether it will result in more capacity to address other unmet needs within the clinic system.
The president noted that in its current financial position, LAO could absorb some financial pressures for a limited time. Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO) revenue could increase if the Bank of Canada key interest rate goes up.
4.3 Collective agreement ratification
On November 1, 2018, LAO and the Society of United Professionals (SUP) signed a memorandum of settlement for the first collective agreement after 14 months of negotiations. On December 4, 2018, the agreement was ratified with 95% in favour. The president noted that Treasury Board staff assisted LAO in its negotiations with SUP.
5. New board member orientation discussion
The vice‑president and general counsel reported that new orders‑in‑council are pending for appointments to the board of directors of LAO and staff are preparing new board member orientation. The board agreed that this will take place over a period of time with separate modules covering topics like LAO programs, finances, policies and the board’s role.
In the past, staff have arranged site visits to familiarize board members with LAO operations and for an opportunity to interact with service providers. Board members agreed that these onsite visits are essential and should continue.
Staff are also creating financial, IT and Public Service of Ontario Act (PSOA) training for board members.
6. Motion to adjourn
DECISION: Meeting adjourned