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What's New

Before making a job offer, employers sometimes ask people to work trial shifts or show up for training. In some industries, for example, the restaurant business, trial shifts are not unusual.

This month's On the Radar highlights what the Employment Standards Act (ESA) says about the right to be paid for work. The ESA applies to most employees in Ontario.

CLEO Board member Frank Walwyn has recently been named as a 2019 recipient of the Law Society Medal.

Each year, the Law Society of Ontario awards the Law Society Medal to selected lawyers who have made a significant contribution to the profession. The award is given for outstanding service within the profession, whether in the area of practice, in the academic sphere, or in some other professional capacity where the service is in accordance with the highest ideals of the legal profession. It may be awarded for devotion to professional duties over a long term or for a single outstanding act of service.

Called to the bar in 1995, Frank Walwyn is being recognized as a leader in the legal profession by the Law Society and as a trailblazer in the black legal community in Ontario. He is the longest serving president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and has championed equity and diversity in the legal profession, making invaluable contributions to the legal community as a whole.

https://lso.ca/news-events/news/latest-news-2019/2-(1)

Recent changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) mean more money for some people who are 60 to 64 years old and have a disability.

This month's On the Radar explains the new post-retirement disability benefit, why it was needed, and who can get it.

Recent changes to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) mean workers are entitled to fewer days off and no paid sick days.

This month's On the Radar talks about these changes, which took effect in January. The ESA applies to most employees in Ontario.

The provincial government is allowing landlords of new apartments to raise the rent by any amount.

This month’s On the Radar explains which units are affected by this change, and what it means for tenants.

In the coming months, CLEO and partners will reach out to Francophone communities and the organizations that serve them to ensure that they are aware of our new website Justice pas-à-pas, which has step-by-step information on legal problems people in Ontario face. An important part of the ongoing development process for the new website is to assess uptake and to encourage user feedback to implement a virtuous cycle of improvement.

Check out CLEO's blog about Justice pas-à-pas on Slaw.ca.

CLEO's Executive Director Julie Mathews participated in a panel on The Agenda discussing the importance of informing low income and marginalized communities about their legal rights and how critical our legal aid system is to access to justice in Ontario.

As of November, new rules apply when employers in Ontario ask people for police record checks. This month's On the Radar highlights some of these new rules.

Toronto, ON – Problems with landlords, unfair treatment at work, and getting separated or divorced: these are some of the issues that people in Ontario face every day. Finding reliable and practical legal information to understand and address these problems is not easy, despite the wealth of information available online. For Franco-Ontarians, this is compounded by the fact that access to French language services and resources is more limited.

Now, Franco-Ontarians can go to Justice pas-à-pas – a new website launched on November 27 at a reception at the Law Society of Ontario.

"Steps to Justice has proven to be an indispensable resource. Expanding this important, high quality service to serve the Franco-Ontarian community is a meaningful step towards our larger goal of a barrier-free justice system that is accessible, affordable, and efficient for everyone," said Caroline Mulroney, Attorney General and Minister of Francophone Affairs.

Justice pas-à-pas presents easy-to-understand, step-by-step information on common issues that people experience in many areas of law, including family, housing, employment, consumer and criminal law. The website is designed to:

  • Equip people to work through their legal problems using simple, easy-to-understand steps
  • Provide practical tools such as checklists, fillable forms, and self-help guides
  • Give referral information for legal and social services that serve Francophones across Ontario.

Justice pas-à-pas aims to help lower income Ontarians who can access online resources, as well as the front-line community workers who are often called upon to help them with legal problems.

Led by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO), Justice pas-à-pas is a collaboration of key justice sector players. An advisory committee of leading justice and community organizations serving Francophone communities helps ensure the information available on Justice pas-à-pas meets the needs of Franco-Ontarians. These advisors include the Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Ontario, the Centre francophone de Toronto, the Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes, Mouvement des femmes immigrantes francophones, the Centre des services communautaires de Vanier, Legal Aid Ontario, and community legal clinics in Sudbury, Hamilton, and Windsor-Essex.

"Justice pas-à-pas follows on the very successful Steps to Justice website that was launched last year," said Julie Mathews, executive director of CLEO. "CLEO is committed to ensuring that people in Ontario can connect with clear, accurate online information to help them understand their legal rights in both official languages."

Justice pas-à-pas and Steps to Justice are led by CLEO and bring together key justice sector players such as the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, the Superior Court of Justice and the Ontario Court of Justice, the Social Justice Tribunals of Ontario, Legal Aid Ontario, the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Justice Education Network, and the Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario.

These justice sector partners collaborate on content development to ensure the legal information is accurate and practical, and the websites are updated regularly based on their input and changes in the law. A key feature of both Justice pas-à-pas and Steps to Justice is that justice sector and community organizations can embed the legal content on their own websites – meaning that it is widely available on websites across the province.

"Many justice sector organizations have come together to develop Steps to Justice, a website that helps people work through their legal problems, said Malcolm Mercer, Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario. "It's an essential place for people to go for practical information they can rely on."

About Justice pas-à-pas and Steps to Justice:

Led by Community Legal Education Ontario, Justice pas-à-pas and Steps to Justice are collaborative projects of leading justice sector organizations. They are signature initiatives of The Action Group on Access to Justice.

About CLEO

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario) is a non-profit organization that has provided accurate and easy-to-understand information and education about the law for people in Ontario for over 40 years, particularly those who have low incomes or other disadvantages. CLEO is funded by Legal Aid Ontario, the Department of Justice Canada, and the Law Foundation of Ontario.

About TAG

The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) was established by the Law Society of Ontario in 2015 to facilitate better coordination and collaboration across the justice sector. With funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario, TAG works with a range of justice stakeholders to develop meaningful, public-centred solutions that advance systemic change.

For more information (data, photos, interviews), please contact: Deb Bourk, Communications Manager, 416 408 4420, ext 842 or deb.bourk@cleo.on.ca.

Recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018. But cannabis is still highly regulated and many activities involving it remain against the law.

This month's On the Radar looks at some of the new federal and provincial laws about recreational cannabis that apply within Ontario, with a focus on criminal law and tenants' rights.

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