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Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018
David Field says Legal Aid Ontario is proud to support the establishment of a new legal clinic.


A new legal clinic has been established to serve the legal needs of low-income black Ontarians.

The Black Legal Action Centre will be based in Toronto and will look to fill the void left when Legal Aid Ontario stopped funding the African Canadian Legal Clinic.

LAO announced it was withdrawing funding from ACLC this summer, alleging financial mismanagement.

An advisory committee made up of prominent black leaders was later convened to establish a new clinic for the community.

The new clinic will provide a number of services aiming to combat anti-black racism. LAO has set aside $850,000 for the clinic for 2018-2019.

“Legal Aid Ontario is proud to be supporting the formation of the Black Legal Action Centre,” said LAO president David Field.

“This work is directly in line with our mandate to ensure access to justice for members of disadvantaged communities. LAO looks forward to supporting BLAC in achieving this important goal.”

The clinic’s scope of operations and mandate will be developed in the months ahead through a community consultation.

The African Canadian Legal Clinic had served the Toronto black community for more than 20 years before LAO defunded the clinic. The decision to withdraw funding was taken by a clinic committee of LAO’s board of directors and came after a 2013 audit.

The audit found a number of alleged improper uses of clinic funds.


The Law Society of Ontario has asked for feedback from lawyers and paralegals on proposed amendments to the the Model Rules of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.

The amendments relate to “the ‘no cash’ model rule, client identification and verification requirements, and trust accounting provisions,” according to the Law Society of Ontario’s website.

Comments must be shared by Feb. 15, and they can be submitted online or by regular mail.

Submissions will go to the law society’s Professional Regulation Committee.

More information is available at


Michael Bryant, the province of Ontario’s former attorney general from 2003 to 2007, has joined the Canadian Civil Liberties Association as executive director and general counsel.

Bryant said on social media that he was “grateful to be working with an extraordinary team” at the organization.


The Court of Appeal for Ontario has determined that the limitation period for an excessive force claim against the police started running at the end of the underlying criminal proceeding.

Readers were asked if they agreed with this move.

About 50 per cent said yes, the decision is favourable for those who wish to pursue claims against the police.

But another 50 per cent said no, the decision is problematic because it moves away from established case law.

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