Ontario Continues to Strengthen Access to Legal Services Across the Province
Ontario is making it possible for more people to access affordable legal services by increasing the financial eligibility threshold for legal aid.
Effective April 1, 2018, the province increased the threshold another six per cent. This means approximately 153,000 more low-income, vulnerable people will be eligible to receive legal services from Legal Aid Ontario (LAO).
This year’s investment of over $86 million marks the fifth increase since Ontario’s 2014 budget commitment to expand access to legal services to an additional one million people in 10 years. As part of this expansion, community legal clinics and student legal aid services societies in Ontario will receive $7.2 million in funding in 2018/19.
As a result of the combined threshold increases, Ontario is much closer to reaching its goal, with about 700,000 more people having access to legal aid today than in 2014.
Ontario’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.