New project offers free legal information to new Canadians
TORONTO, Oct. 6 /CNW/ - What are your legal rights as a new Canadian?
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) launches a free, easily accessible,
plain language toolkit in six different languages to help low-income new
Canadians understand their rights. The new toolkit consists of
easy-to-understand legal information in online text and audio formats adapted
into Chinese (Mandarin and simplified Chinese script), Tamil, Arabic, Urdu,
Somali and Spanish, in addition to English and French.
"When faced with a legal situation, immigrants often question if they
have rights as new Canadians. Many do not know what their basic legal rights
are," says Julie Mathews, Executive Director of CLEO. "This toolkit provides
simple answers to common legal questions and information on what steps they
can take next".
Development of the multilingual text and audio project began in 2006. The
legal topics and languages were determined based on needs of communities
across Ontario. "Everyone should know what their legal rights are and have the
opportunity to exercise them - regardless of their income level or how
recently they arrived in Canada," says Mathews.
For further information, a 24-hour provincial toll free number has been
activated to provide multilingual legal information and legal referrals for
residents throughout Ontario. The number is 1-866-667-5366. Findhelp
Information Services is providing telephone support for this line. All adapted
legal information documents and audio pieces can be found on the CLEO website
This project was funded in partnership with the Ontario Trillium
Foundation (OTF) and Legal Aid Ontario. In 2006, the Ontario Trillium
Foundation provided CLEO with a grant of $149,100. OTF continues to strengthen
the capacity of the volunteer sector through investments in community-based
initiatives and has become one of the largest grant-making organizations in
Canada. For more information, please visit www.trilliumfoundation.org. Legal
Aid Ontario is an independent, publicly funded and publicly accountable
non-profit corporation that is responsible for administering the province's
legal aid program.
CLEO is a community legal clinic, founded in 1974, that specializes in
public legal education. CLEO is administered by a volunteer board of
directors, and receives core funding from Legal Aid Ontario and the Department
of Justice Canada, and project funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario, the
Ontario Trillium Foundation, and others. Staff includes lawyers, editors,
special project staff and support staff. CLEO is dedicated to providing
low-income and disadvantaged people in Ontario with the legal information they
need to understand and exercise their legal rights.
For further information:
For further information: Marie Singh, Freelance Publicist, Mobile: (416)