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Help stop cuts to community legal clinics in Ontario!
May 14, 2019
Posted in:CLEO News

Urgent message to our community partners

The Ontario government's recent budget made cuts to a number of public programs and services, which will hurt many of the people your organization serves. The cuts include a massive 30% cut to legal aid funding. And that's in this year alone.

CLEO is one of Ontario's 72 community legal clinics that receive funding from Legal Aid Ontario which, in turn, is funded by the Ontario government.

We expect that a cut of this magnitude is going to be devastating to the ability of low-income people to access legal aid services across Ontario, including help from Ontario's community legal clinics.

As you know, legal clinics are on the front lines of assisting people who are marginalized in keeping their housing, government benefits, and other elements essential to human rights and dignity. It will also put at risk CLEO's ability to provide free, reliable legal information through Steps to Justice and Justice pas-à-pas, in print and other formats, which we know is vital to the work of community workers and clients across Ontario.

The cuts could also affect your organization in other ways. Your staff may have more people coming to them with legal problems. And you will have fewer places to refer them to for the legal help they need to keep their housing or assistance, or to help them with other complicated, life-affecting problems.

Here is what you can do to help stop these cuts!

  1. Email, call, or write your local MPP. If emailing or writing, copy Premier Doug Ford and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney. You can start with our sample letter, and consider including details about the types of groups you work with who will be affected by the cuts. We understand that you may be too busy to send an individual email. The clinic system has set up a form email that you can use to email the Premier and the Attorney General.
  2. Tell us how CLEO and other legal clinics have helped you, your organization, or your clients. Your stories about how our resources and services help you in your work will help us defend against these drastic cuts to services to low-income Ontarians. You can email us at
On the Radar - Changes to fees in Ontario courts
May 1, 2019
Posted in:On the Radar

On April 1, 2019, fees that people pay to use Ontario’s courts went up. Some increases are as small as $1. But some are much larger, even double what they were.

This month’s On the Radar outlines some of these increases and what people can do if they can't afford the fees.

On the Radar - The right to be paid for training or trial shifts
April 1, 2019
Posted in:On the Radar

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.

Law Society Medal
March 29, 2019
Posted in:CLEO News

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.

On the Radar - New disability benefit will help some people on CPP retirement pensions
March 8, 2019
Posted in:On the Radar

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.

On the Radar - New rules for workers who need time off
February 6, 2019
Posted in:On the Radar

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.

On the Radar - No more rent control for new apartments
February 1, 2019
Posted in:On the Radar

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.

Justice pas-à-pas: Bringing key perspectives to bear on the common legal problems of Franco-Ontarians
January 9, 2019
Posted in:CLEO News

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

CLEO's Executive Director on The Agenda - Improving Legal Aid and Access to Justice
December 13, 2018
Posted in:CLEO News

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.

On the Radar - New rules about police checks
December 3, 2018
Posted in:On the Radar

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.