A 30% cut in funding to Legal Aid will hurt Ontario’s most vulnerable people the most, including women fleeing domestic violence, refugees escaping life-threatening persecution, and people accused of a crime who may lose their freedom and deserve a proper defense to guard against the very real possibility of a wrongful conviction resulting in deportation. The claim this measure will save money, it is just going to add costs and delays to an already overburdened court system. Access to justice is the cornerstone of any democratic society.
To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
Whereas the Government of Ontario made a significant cut of approximately one third of all legal aid funding, which will jeopardize the rights of those who need legal representation the most
Whereas access to Legal Aid is essential to low-income Ontarians who are facing legal proceedings such as in criminal, family, mental health, poverty law and child protection cases
Whereas the cuts will lead to backlogs and delays throughout the justice system, causing chaos in the courts and costing taxpayers more, not less
Whereas for every dollar invested in legal aid, there is a return of $5 to the government in terms of reduced homelessness, reduced health care and reduced incarceration.
Therefore, we the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows: That the Attorney General reverse the funding cuts to Legal Aid Ontario as it will negatively impact the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our society, including refugees and immigrants in Ontario and recognize rights to justice in Ontario extend to all Ontarians.
To print a copy of the petition click here.