CRIMINAL LAWYERS CALL ON PROVINCE TO PROVIDE MORE FUNDING FOR LEGAL AID
Oct 18, 2022
By Bob Komsic
The group representing criminal lawyers in Ontario is to meet next week with the Ford government in hopes of getting more financial help for legal aid.
Criminal Lawyer’s Association president Daniel Brown says insufficient funding has led to many accused being unrepresented in courts, which in turn leads to inefficiency in the justice system, placing more burden on courts.
The CLA called on the province in a recent letter to negotiate a legal aid funding model that keeps up with the cost of living.
Brown claims legal aid rates for lawyers have stayed the same for years, and that’s forcing young lawyers and lawyers from diverse communities; who largely rely on legal aid cases, to leave defence practice.
In 2019, the government made a $133-million cut to legal aid funding, which at the time, amounted to 30% of the program’s budget.