Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

NDP calls on Ford Government to reverse cruel legal aid cuts

Published on July 8, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK — Sara Singh, Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP critic for the Attorney General, called for newly appointed Attorney General Doug Downey to reverse the Ford government’s cruel legal aid cuts in an open letter.

“Just a few days ago, I met with many members of the legal aid community for a roundtable discussion,” said Singh. “Once again, frontline workers and experts made it clear that these short-sighted cuts will have far-reaching social and financial impacts for our province and its people.”

The Ford government is planning to rip $15 million in funding from community legal clinics across the province, in addition to slashing funding for Legal Aid Ontario by 30 per cent. Singh says that the legal aid community is sounding the alarm – noting that these cuts target vulnerable Ontarians who are in already in desperate situations. Additionally, experts are noting that the large number of people these cuts will leave without representation will create even larger backlogs of cases in the courts, further straining already-stretched services from courts to hospitals, to local police answering distress calls.

“Legal aid services are crucial to many Ontarians –  they help single parents seek child support, help workers get the wages they’re owed and do so much more,” said Singh. “We should be doing more to help the most vulnerable Ontarians get the legal help they need, but instead Doug Ford is choosing to spend money on cushy jobs for his friends and insiders.

“Ontarians deserve so much better than a government that prioritizes cushy jobs for their friends and insiders over making sure everyone can have access to justice. If Mr. Downey wants to make a mark as a newly appointed Attorney General, he should begin by reversing these cuts.”