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  • Trudy McCormick – Dennison Award 2024
    he ACLCO would like to congratulate Trudy McCormick who was the 2024 recipient of the Shirley Denison Award from the Law Society of Ontario.
  • John McKinnon – 2024 Dianne Martin Medal
    The ACLCO congratulates John McKinnon as the recipient of the 2024 Dianne Martin Medal for Social Justice Through Law from Osgoode Hall Law School (York University). 
  • Ann Schweighofer awarded the 2023 Sidney B. Linden Access to Justice Award
    The ACLCO congratulates Ann Schweighofer as the recipient of the 2023 Sidney B. Linden Access to Justice Award. We are pleased to share LAO’s announcement below.
  • Our Tribute to Roy McMurtry
    With much sadness, and with profound respect, the ACLCO pays tribute to Roland (Roy) McMurtry, who died on March 19, 2024 leaving an unparalleled legacy on justice, equality and democracy in Ontario.
  • Tribute to Dr. S. Ronald Ellis
    At the ACLCO, we are most saddened by the passing of Dr. Ron Ellis (on December 3, 2023), one of the architects of the Ontario community legal clinic system and a member of the Friends of the Clinics Committee.
  • 2023 Community Champion Award
    Yvonne Kelly is the recipient of the 2023 Community Champion award, nominated for the award by Community Legal Clinic of York Region. The Community Champion Award is a way of recognizing those who advocate and fight on behalf of our clients, often in the trenches with clinics.
  • Clinic Staff in Action
    Meet Mohamed Bsat, a staff lawyer with the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic (HCLC) – and in his community – a rep program basketball coach making a unique difference in the lives of young men in his community.
  • 2021 Community Champion Award
    Omar Khan is the recipient of the 2021 Community Champion award, nominated for the award by Don Valley Community Legal Services. The Community Champion Award is a way of recognizing those who advocate and fight on behalf of our clients, often in the trenches with clinics
  • Proposed Rules Under the Legal Aid Services Act, 2020: Impact on Community Legal Clinics
    In July 2020, Ontario passed new legislation governing the provision of legal aid services. The Legal Aid board has proposed rules to govern this under the new legislation. Patricia Hughs comments on the new rules and their relationship to the 2020 Act as they apply to community legal clinics.
  • Legal Aid Ontario facing up to $70 million funding drop amid COVID-19 ‘perfect storm
    From the Toronto Star (July 13, 2020): https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/07/13/legal-aid-ontario-facing-up-to-70-million-funding-drop-amid-covid-19-perfect-storm.html As demand for legal aid services rises from Ontarians facing evictions, job loss, domestic violence and other issues, Legal Aid Ontario is staring down a funding… Read more: Legal Aid Ontario facing up to $70 million funding drop amid COVID-19 ‘perfect storm
  • The Work of Legal Clinics in Trying Times
    I have been reflecting on what our work means to our client communities in the context of the current pandemic. Three key aspects come to mind as critically needed at this time: recognizing our place; diversity in our work; and vulnerability of our client communities.
  • The Smarter and stronger Justice Act bill
    The provincial government introduced for first reading, an omnibus justice bill (The Smarter and Stronger Justice Act bill) containing provisions that will amend the current Legal Aid Services Act, 1998.
  • “No Advocate” Video Project
    “NO ADVOCATE” was made in an effort to shine light on the great work done by Toronto-based legal clinics and the trickle down impact these cuts will have on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Colour) communities.
  • Access to Justice Week
    The ACLCO recognized Access to Justice week 2019 by launching a video series speaking with influential people in the justice sector about what access to justice means and the role Community Legal… Read more: Access to Justice Week
  • Hoping Ontario’s new Attorney General does the right thing
    “Today we are in the midst of writing a new chapter in the history of legal aid in Ontario — a system that has served as a much-emulated model of the world, with the legal clinics having played a central role of its success. A system that is now under attack, with deliberate misinformation about its lack of efficiency as the justification for its obliteration.” Read the full article here: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2019/07/02/hoping-the-new-attorney-general-does-the-right-thing.html
  • The Star Editorial Board calls on the Ontario’s new Attorney General to reverse the cuts to legal aid.
    “Ontario has a new attorney general, Doug Downey, who is no doubt facing a massive to-do list. But before he starts on any new projects, Downey should revisit a decision made in April by his predecessor, Caroline Mulroney, to slash the province’s legal aid budget by 30 per cent. At the time, Mulroney claimed the move would ensure “lower-income Ontarians continue to have access to the justice that they need.” That didn’t make sense then, and it doesn’t make sense now.” Read the full article here: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2019/06/23/ontarios-new-attorney-general-should-reverse-cuts-to-legal-aid.html
  • Community Legal Clinics worried about their future after provincial cuts to the budgets of the local clinic and clinics province-wide
    “The Northwest Community Legal Clinic’s executive director is worried about its future after provincial cuts to the budgets of the local clinic and clinics province-wide have affected its ability to provide legal services. Community legal clinics provide civil law services for low-income Ontarians, funded mostly by Legal Aid Ontario, which saw $133 million slashed from its budget earlier this year. The funding cuts will affect the clinic’s ability to serve clients.” Read the full article here: https://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/news/local-news/local-legal-clinics-worry-for-future-after-funding-cuts
  • Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice says legal aid essential to fair justice system
    Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner says legal aid is “essential” to ensuring the justice system is fair and efficient for all. His remarks come as Ontario Premier Doug Ford is facing sharp criticism for slashing funding for legal aid by 30 per cent. This year’s provincial budget cut Legal Aid Ontario by $133 million and said the organization could no longer use provincial funds for refugee and immigration cases. … he stressed the importance of governments adequately funding programs to ensure access to legal representation for the most vulnerable people. “I think legal aid is essential to the justice system, to make sure that the justice system is strong and fair,” he said. “It’s also a smart investment.”” Read the full article here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/supreme-court-chief-justice-wagner-1.5182657
  • Statement on Cuts to Community Legal Clinics
    The Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario (ACLCO) condemns the cuts in community legal clinic services to the province’s poorest and most vulnerable people, flowing from the Ontario government’s spring budget. The April 11th provincial budget announced a 30% decrease in legal aid funding. Today, Legal Aid Ontario implemented the cuts to the clinic system.
  • Cuts are a short-sighted misstep
    Cuts are an unconscionable attack on the province’s most vulnerable. “The recent decision of the Ford government to drastically cut Legal Aid Ontario’s funding is not only an unconscionable attack on the province’s most vulnerable, but even more reprehensible when it is considered that the Progressive Conservatives have used the cover of refugees and immigrants as a shield from any blowback.” (May 8, 2019, Manitoulin Expositor)
  • Stop the Cuts: Access to Justice for All
    The provincial government has cut funding to Legal Aid Ontario by 35%, which will result in a massive funding cut to Community Legal Clinics. This will directly impact front-line services and our ability to serve Ontario’s most vulnerable people.  You can make a difference – learn how here. #Justice4All
  • 2018 Annual Report on Community Legal Clinics
    The ACLCO is pleased to share its Annual Report, “Together Making the Equal Rights Dream a Reality” showcasing the fine work done in our community legal clinics to advance access to justice… Read more: 2018 Annual Report on Community Legal Clinics
  • 2019 Annual General Meeting & Conference
    The ACLCO will be hosting its 22nd Annual General Meeting and Conference in Toronto on April 26-27, 2019.  The 2019 AGM theme is Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Times, focusing on ensuring that clinics thrive as they defend the rights of their communities and ensure access to justice for the most disadvantaged. 
  • Submissions to the LSO
    From time to time, the ACLCO assists clinics in exercising their collective voice by developing systemic positions. The Law Society of Ontario recently held consultations and called for submissions on two issues… Read more: Submissions to the LSO
  • 2018 Annual General Meeting & Conference
    The ACLCO held its 21st Annual AGM and Conference May 25-26 featuring two days of important board and staff training and ACLCO business focused on the theme of “Building on our Successes”.
  • 2017 Annual Report
    The ACLCO is pleased to share its Annual Report, “Together Making the Equal Rights Dream a Reality” intended to showcase the fine work done in our community legal clinics for audiences such… Read more: 2017 Annual Report
  • 2017 Sydney B. Linden Award goes to Grace Plucino
    Grace Pluchino, a community legal worker at the forefront of tenants’ rights for the past 30 years, is this year’s recipient of the Sidney B. Linden Award given by Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) to honour exceptional individuals who help low-income Ontarians in the pursuit of access to justice.

Trudy McCormick – Dennison Award 2024

he ACLCO would like to congratulate Trudy McCormick who was the 2024 recipient of the Shirley Denison Award from the Law Society of Ontario.

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John McKinnon – 2024 Dianne Martin Medal

The ACLCO congratulates John McKinnon as the recipient of the 2024 Dianne Martin Medal for Social Justice Through Law from Osgoode Hall Law School (York University). 

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ACLCO Updates

Ann Schweighofer awarded the 2023 Sidney B. Linden Access to Justice Award

The ACLCO congratulates Ann Schweighofer as the recipient of the 2023 Sidney B. Linden Access to Justice Award. We are pleased to share LAO's announcement below.

Read more

Our Tribute to Roy McMurtry

With much sadness, and with profound respect, the ACLCO pays tribute to Roland (Roy) McMurtry, who died on March 19, 2024 leaving an unparalleled legacy on justice, equality and democracy in Ontario.

Read more

Executive Minutes

2024 Board Minutes

You can download the minutes from each meeting in 2024 here.

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Job Opening

The ACLCO is hiring a part-time (permanent) administrative assistant. Read more to see the job description. Application deadline is February 12, 2024.

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What's New

Tribute to Dr. S. Ronald Ellis

At the ACLCO, we are most saddened by the passing of Dr. Ron Ellis (on December 3, 2023), one of the architects of the Ontario community legal clinic system and a member of the Friends of the Clinics Committee.

Read more

AGM

2023 Community Champion Award

Yvonne Kelly is the recipient of the 2023 Community Champion award, nominated for the award by Community Legal Clinic of York Region. The Community Champion Award is a way of recognizing those who advocate and fight on behalf of our clients, often in the trenches with clinics.

Read more

AGM

AGM Documents

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ACLCO By-law #1 – Notice of proposed amendments

ACLCO By-law 1 proposed amendments, November 2023.

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