Connecting Ottawa: Linking people with communications challenges to legal information

When people have difficulty communicating, they have difficulty accessing justice. This is the theme for the recently-established Connecting Ottawa/Connexion Ottawa network. Spearheaded by South Ottawa Community Legal Services (SOCLS), Connecting Ottawa/Connexion Ottawa is comprised of over 42 community agencies across the city. Its goal is to better link agency clients with a communication-related impairment with [...]


Happy blog birthday to us! Celebrating our first year.

We’re celebrating this blog’s one-year birthday, and (at the risk of being self-congratulatory,) happy birthday to us! We didn’t get here alone. We’re thankful to every guest author who has contributed to this blog, every person and organization who has shared our posts online, and every visitor who’s joined our growing audience. Thank you for [...]


Diversity and inclusion: an important piece of the “access to justice” puzzle

By Noëlle Richardson In my view, access to justice is only possible if we in the justice system provide relevant, responsive services to society’s most vulnerable people. Inclusion can help employees in the justice system to understand the needs of clients from across all of Ontario’s communities. Moreover, it can help staff to develop the [...]


Kirsti Mathers McHenry on navigating the workplace as a member of the LGBT community

This piece was originally published in the MyHR LAO internal newsletter. World Pride Month is here! Pride refers to a world-wide celebration incorporating activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBT communities. It’s also a time to highlight Canada’s continued progress in human rights, and the diversity and dynamism of our people. We [...]

livre ouvert / open book

Law students help fill growing gaps in legal services

by Nikki Gershbain The access to justice crisis There has been much discussion in the profession recently about what the Chief Justice of Canada has referred to as a crisis in the justice system. This crisis is shorthand for a number of systemic problems, including long delays, overly complex procedures, an erosion in legal aid [...]


Baamsedaa: Let’s Walk Together

By Jeff Plain This piece originally appeared on our Aboriginal Justice Strategy policy page.  As an indigenous Aboriginal person myself, I understand that feelings of apprehension and hopelessness can arise in seeking and accessing justice. These feelings can stem from distrust in justice systems —whether criminal, family, civil or administrative. Meeting an important need We [...]


Victory at Ontario Court of Appeal protects rights of people receiving social assistance

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently considered a thorny issue: can the director of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or the Social Benefits Tribunal ever choose to waive collection of overpayments? The winning team It took a team to achieve this groundbreaking victory in the Ontario Court of Appeal on March 31. The Surdivall v. [...]

Image sourced from the Government of Canada’s National Victims of Crime Awareness Week website.

April 6-12 is National Victims of Crime Awareness Week

This week, it’s timely to reflect upon the issues facing victims of crime and the services, assistance and laws in place to help victims and their families. When a crime is committed, the repercussions can ripple out and affect children, partners, entire families and communities. Beyond physical injury, financial loss and property damage, the damages [...]