Legal Aid Ontario to fund Canadian Association of Black Lawyers

Published: April 27, 2018

Legal Aid Ontario has agreed to fund the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) to engage in law reform work that benefits Ontario’s Black communities.

This agreement is part of LAO’s commitment to ensure that there will be no reduction in clinic law services to Black Ontarians after LAO withdrew its funding of the African Canadian Legal Clinic last year.

“Law reform involves working to change policies, practices, and laws,” explains Moya Teklu, policy lawyer at LAO. “This agreement with CABL will help ensure that there is a strong voice to challenge those policies, practices, and laws that negatively impact members of Ontario’s Black communities.”

The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers is a national network of law professionals and individuals committed to working with Black communities in Canada. Under the agreement with LAO, the Association will research, create and produce materials representing the interests of Ontario’s Black communities to government ministries and agencies at a municipal, provincial and national level.

“Black communities in Ontario face inequalities in everything ranging from housing to employment to education,” noted Shawn Richard, Canadian Association of Black Lawyers president. “Our association has been working to improve outcomes for members of our communities. This agreement with LAO will greatly assist efforts to address these disparate outcomes in a systemic way, and to try to bring about lasting change.”

LAO’s agreement with CABL to provide law reform services is one of several interim services LAO is providing until the new clinic for Ontario’s Black communities, the Black Legal Action Centre opens in August 2018. Other interim services include offering direct legal services to people experiencing anti-Black racism, as well as support for Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario applications and funding test cases for matters in the public interest.