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Extending the reach of legal aid – The Halton Legal Health Check-Up project

In an effort to overcome the realties of unmet legal needs in South Western Ontario, the Halton Community Legal Services (HCLS) has created the Legal Health Check-Up project… Ab Currie holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto. He has been conducting policy research on legal aid and other access to justice issues for more than 25 years and has authored about 50 reports, articles and book chapters on access to justice topics.

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Ed Montigny of ARCH Disability Law Centre talks access to justice

This post is part of our Personal perspectives on access to justice series. At its most basic, access to justice means an appropriate level of assistance with legal issues for people when they need help to protect basic rights or needs.These basic rights include housing, access to social supports and assistance, education, employment, medical care, child custody, spousal or child support, defending one’s autonomy or obtaining protection from abuse…
Ed Montigny has been a staff lawyer at ARCH Disability Law Centre since 2009.

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John Warren of Dying with Dignity Canada on Carter v. Canada

John Warren is vice-chair of the board of directors of Dying with Dignity Canada.The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has been seeking to change the laws in Canada that govern physician-assisted suicide for people who are terminally ill since they initiated the “right to die with dignity” lawsuit (Carter v. Canada), in which we provided evidence, in 2011. This Wednesday, Oct. 15, we’ll join many interveners to present additional evidence to the Supreme Court of Canada. *Editor’s note: interveners include the LAO-funded specialty legal clinic HALCO, the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario)

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Personal perspectives on access to justice

In this series, legal sector professionals, experts, advocates and people with hands-on experience of the justice system share their views and knowledge about the many facets of access to justice.

James Lockyer

James Lockyer on Wrongful Conviction Day

Wrongful convictions are an international problem. Our Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted decided there was a need for an International Wrongful Conviction day. Wrongful Conviction Day informs the general public, on an international level, that wrongful convictions have occurred, are occurring and will continue to occur in the future. There’s a need to change our system to uncover them and avoid them in future. James Lockyer, a principal at Lockyer Posner Campbell, is co-founder and lead counsel of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted, an organization that advocates for the wrongly convicted.

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In honour of Wrongful Conviction Day: one wrongfully convicted person’s story

“As a wrongly convicted individual who has had the good fortune to finally be set free, I feel a need to do what I can to help free others. Simply put, wrong is wrong. We all have an obligation to right the wrongs which come to our attention…” Newfoundlander Ron Dalton spent more than eight years in prison, charged with second-degree murder of his wife. It stole 12 years from his life, and led to two trials, an appeal, a lawsuit a public inquiry into his case, and two other wrongful convictions.

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Job opening: Crime fighter, no cape required.

Ann McRae, Director of Legal Services at Rexdale Community Legal Clinic, writes about Rexdale’s FOCUS crime prevention model. “Today’s crime fighters wear jeans and sweaters, carry a cell phone and work for a vast network of modestly funded agencies…”

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Think outside the box when it comes to mental health

It’s often assumed that people with disabilities are hyper visible. It’s also often assumed that disability accommodations or accessibility measures are hyper visible, too. Sheela Subramanian is a Policy Analyst with CMHA Ontario.

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Tracy Heffernan: A constitutional right to housing

We are asking the court to tell our government to adopt a national housing strategy to ensure that all Canadians have access to safe, affordable housing.
Tracy Heffernan is co-counsel in Tanudjaja v. Canada and program director at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario.

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What will you do for Prisoners’ Justice Day?

Prisoners’ Justice Day has been observed every year on August 10 since 1975 to call attention to human rights and justice for prisoners. This year, the theme is mental health, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, LAO and the John Howard Society of Toronto will be hosting several leading legal activists for a day of […]

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Voices for Change

By Colleen Sym “I am not alone.” This is what participants told us they learned in a series of Town Hall meetings held across Halton Region in the winter of 2011. One participant in particular, Cathy, found the experience of solidarity compelling. She joined with other participants to form Voices for Change Halton(Voices), a peer-led, anti-poverty […]