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RSS FeedsProvincial cuts to legal aid throw future of Parkdale clinic in doubt
(The Star Business)


24 may 2019 02:15:40

Provincial cuts to legal aid throw future of Parkdale clinic in doubt
(The Star Business)

The ability of the Parkdale Community Legal Services’ clinic to actually remain in the community it has served for almost 50 years has been put in jeopardy by funding cuts from Legal Aid Ontario, the clinic’s director says.The clinic, which must leave its current location at Dufferin St. and Queen St. W., had been slated to move to a nearby location at King St. W. and Jameson Ave. in August, clinic director Johanna Macdonald told the Star. She said Legal Aid Ontario — the provincial agency responsible for the legal aid plan and for providing funding to community legal clinics — had made an “approval in principle” to fund a five-year lease for the clinic’s new location, as well as funding for construction costs to help the clinic fit into the smaller space.But then came the province’s budget on April 11, which included a 30 per cent cut to legal aid funding. By the end of that month, LAO said it was no longer able to commit to funding a lease beyond one year and would not provide money for construction, Macdonald said. Across the province, community legal clinics — which provide legal services to low-income Ontarians — are bracing for a round of cuts after the LAO board meets Friday, when it is expected to discuss its response to the provincial budget. The Parkdale clinic has been left scrambling — the new location is half the size of the clinic’s current space and Macdonald said the construction funding was needed to fit the entire staff and to be able to continue providing its services. Read more:How the underfunding of legal aid is clogging up the justice systemThis Parkdale legal clinic has helped tenants fight landlords for nearly 50 years. Now it’s the one being evictedWhich neighbourhoods have seen large spikes in rent? The Star mapped 5 years of rental data in 15 Canadian municipalitiesThe fact that LAO will only commit to funding a one-year lease also throws into doubt whether ...
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