Law Society thankful for funding for legal aid



    TORONTO, March 30 /CNW/ - In his opening remarks to the Law Society of
Upper Canada's monthly board meeting, Treasurer Gavin MacKenzie acknowledged
the important contribution to legal aid in Ontario contained in the provincial
government's recent budget.
    The provincial budget contains an additional $51 million in funding for
legal aid over the next three years. MacKenzie commended the Attorney General
for his "leadership in persuading his colleagues of the need to strengthen our
legal aid system to enhance access to justice for low-income individuals and
families."
    The Law Society strongly supports a well-funded and sustainable system of
legal aid in Ontario. Equal access to legal assistance is a vital component of
the justice system in a free and democratic society. Individuals are equal
before the law only if they are assured the option of legal representation.
    "The much needed additional funding will help reduce the number of
vulnerable people, particularly families, who might otherwise have been forced
to navigate the courts without any representation", MacKenzie said.
    The Law Society will continue to advocate for a well-funded, sustainable
legal aid system. The additional funding in this budget, together with the
appointment of Professor McCamus to review legal aid issues, are encouraging
indications that legal aid is a priority for this government.
    We commend Premier McGuinty, Minister Sorbara and Attorney General Bryant
for their leadership and work in support of legal aid.





For further information:

For further information: Roy Thomas, (416) 947-7619, rthomas@lsuc.on.ca;
or Lisa Hall, (416) 947-7625, lhall@lsuc.on.ca


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