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!
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.