Category Archives: Family law


Building bridges through community partnerships

The Legal Aid Ontario professionals who work out of the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre (DPNCHC) in Toronto’s west end help address the access to justice gap in this community. This is why and how they do it. Amy Slotek, a lawyer with experience in anti-discrimination, international and refugee law, coordinates the Legal Aid Ontario services program at the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Community Health Care Centre and was co-founder of the first refugee legal aid program in Turkey.


How lawyers resolve family law disputes

This past July I was able to sample the views of 167 lawyers and judges attending the Federation’s National Family Law Program in Whistler, British Columbia through a survey designed and implemented by two prominent academics and the Canadian. John-Paul Boyd is the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family.


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 […]

Viens vivre en Ontario (Come live in Ontario) – Ontario Government Immigration Website supports Francophone newcomers

By Mélissa Loïzou As bilingual counsel at the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic/Clinique juridique communautaire de Hamilton, I have been witness to many changes in the Francophone community in Ontario. Thanks to increased immigration from French-speaking countries, I’ve seen the Francophone population in the Hamilton area steadily grow over time. Within this population, many of our clients […]


Ontario’s financial eligibility standard for legal aid: falling behind the rest of Canada

By Nye Thomas Ontario’s financial eligibility standard for legal aid, which has lagged behind other Canadian jurisdictions for many years, is falling even farther behind. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia are moving further ahead in recognizing that financial eligibility for legal aid services must be increased. What’s happening in Ontario Ontario’s legal aid financial eligibility […]

Megan Pottage

An insider’s perspective on the community legal clinic system challenges

By Megan Pottage In October 2013, I joined Legal Aid Ontario after 12 years of working in the clinic system, most recently as a community legal worker and licensed paralegal in a community legal clinic. My hands-on job familiarized me—intimately—with the pressures faced by the clinic system. Poverty rarely comes alone Ontario’s legal aid clinics […]

Achieving inclusion in family law and child protection

What would you do if you had a client with a mental disability who wanted to fight for custody of her child … or a developmentally handicapped adult client who wanted to make decisions about his own care? With the implementation of standards for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA), accommodating clients with disabilities […]

December 6: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Dec. 6 is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day observes the anniversary of the École Polytechnique Massacre ( a brief history here), and is a day for people throughout Canada to reflect on the ongoing social impact of violence against women. One common symbol of respect on this […]

Domestic violence in the legal world: Perspectives from an LAO articling student

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the latest report from Statistics Canada, in 2011, domestic violence accounted for 26 per cent of all violent crimes reported. This proportion is similar to that in 2010, where 49 per cent of the victims of domestic violence were in a current or previous spousal relationship with the accused person.