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Monday, January 6, 2014

BAIL PROGRAM SET TO EXPAND

A bail verification and supervision program will soon be available in 17 communities across Ontario after the government selected the John Howard Society of Kingston & District to offer it in the Kingston, Ont., area.

The program helps people accused of criminal offences who aren’t a threat to society but don’t have the social or financial means to meet bail requirements.
The John Howard Society will supervise these clients and ensure they attend all court appearances and meet all conditions of their bail.

According to the Ministry of the Attorney General, the program will be available in 17 communities across Ontario once the Kingston program begins operating early this year.

“Our government is committed to improving access to justice for all Ontarians and ensuring our criminal justice system is as effective and efficient as it can be,” said Attorney General John Gerretsen.

“Expanding the bail verification and supervision program to Kingston will help to address a service gap in the southeast region and keep area courts running smoothly.”

Tyler Fainstat, executive director of the John Howard Society of Kingston & District, called the program “an alternative to detention.”

“The John Howard Society of Kingston & District is pleased to offer this service and promote supervision as an alternative to detention,” said Fainstat.

LEGAL APPOINTEES TO ORDER OF CANADA

Three members of the legal community were among 90 new appointments to the Order of Canada.

Gov.-Gen. David Johnston announced the appointment of University of Saskatchewan emeritus law professor and former dean Daniel Ish as an officer of the Order of Canada for his “commitment to social justice, notably as the former chief adjudicator of the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat.”

Also named an officer was retired chief justice of Québec, J.J. Michel Robert of Montreal, for his “achievements in the field of law as a lawyer and jurist, and for his commitment to advancing his profession.” He’s now a consulting partner with the law firm BCF in Montreal.

Retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Marie Deschamps, also of Montreal,  becomes a companion of the Order or Canada for her “numerous contributions as a jurist and for her dedication to youth development.” Deschamps became a judge of the Quebec Superior Court in March 1990. She joined the Quebec Court of Appeal on May 6, 1992, and then the Supreme Court of Canada on Aug. 7, 2002. She retired from the top court in August 2012. She has also been an adjunct professor at the law faculty of the Université de Sherbrooke since 2006 and at McGill University since 2012.

The new appointees to the Order of Canada include four companions, 25 officers, and 61 members.

CHANGES TO PARENTAL LEAVE PROGRAM

Changes to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s parental leave assistance program take effect this month.

According to amendments approved by Convocation in November 2012, the program will now be available only to lawyers who make a net annual practice income of less than $50,000.

The program provides modest financial help to lawyers at small law firms or who work as sole practitioners who don’t have access to maternity or paternal benefits.

Eligible lawyers receive $750 a week for up to 12 weeks.

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