Monthly Archives: July 2015


Legal aid for criminal law matters in Ontario: moving beyond the “loss of liberty” test

In consultations with justice partners and LAO’s advisory committees, Legal Aid Ontario heard again and again about the need to expand criminal certificates beyond the “loss of liberty” test — largely because the impact of criminal conviction is much greater now than in recent years. Nye Thomas is LAO’s Director General, Policy and Strategic Research. Nye has been leading LAO’s financial eligibility project.


Apologies are only the start – a reflection on the release of the report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Earlier this month, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) released its 400-page executive summary of its final report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. It is an important document that provides details and insights into a shameful part of Canada’s past that has only recently begun to come into the consciousness of Canadians. Jonathan Rudin is the Program Director at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto. In 2001, he helped establish the Gladue (Aboriginal persons) Court at the Old City Hall courts in Toronto.

Canada’s Supreme Court turns down Charter challenge on right to housing

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused the most vulnerable people in our society the opportunity to have their claims that the government is violating their human rights heard in court. Shocking, but true.Tracy Heffernan was co-counsel in Tanudjaja v. Canada and program director at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario. Her centre organized the Right to Housing Coalition of people from many backgrounds and expertise, including people with lived experience of homelessness or of being inadequately housed, community organizations, advocacy groups and academics.