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Press Release

Legal Aid Ontario signs historic GTA Clinics' Transformation Project Framework Agreement to move forward in meeting GTA client needs

Canada NewsWire

TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has signed a framework agreement with the GTA Legal Clinics' Transformation Project Working Group that allows clinics to make important progress in how they deliver poverty law services. The agreement includes provisions for predictable clinic funding from LAO over the next two years.

With this agreement in place, GTA clinics will be able to reduce administrative costs and reinvest the resultant savings into enhanced client services.

GTA Clinics' Transformation Project Partnership Framework Agreement maintains clinic budgets at current approved funding levels over the next two years, so long as clinics continue to meet the Project's goals, milestones and timeframes. It also calls upon clinics to reinvest the administrative savings they achieve.*

"The GTA Clinics' Transformation Project Partnership Framework Agreement is a welcome example of how clinics working together can truly innovate and develop a modernized clinic system that better addresses our clients' integrated needs," says Vicki Moretti, Vice President, GTA Region. "We are pleased to partner with the GTA's clinics through the provision of funding and technical support as well as practical advice based on our own organization-wide transformation."

"This is a great example of what we can do when we work together," says Jack de Klerk, Director of Legal Services, Neighbourhood Legal Services and co-lead, with Marjorie Hiley, of the GTA Legal Clinics Transformation Project. "It demonstrates what we can accomplish when we all act on our commitment to find better ways to serve our clients, make clinics stronger and improve the system so that our clients and our community will continue to have access to clinics and have access to justice."

The following 16 GTA clinics are participating in the GTA Clinics' Transformation Project:

  • Community Legal Clinic of York Region
  • Downsview Community Legal Services
  • East Toronto Community Legal Services
  • Flemingdon Community Legal Services
  • Jane Finch Community Legal Services
  • Kensington-Bellwoods Community Legal Services
  • Neighbourhood Legal Services
  • North Peel & Dufferin Community Legal Services
  • Parkdale Community Legal Services, Inc.
  • Rexdale Community Legal Clinic
  • Scarborough Community Legal Services
  • South Etobicoke Community Legal Services
  • Willowdale Community Legal Services
  • West Scarborough Community Legal Services
  • West Toronto Community Legal Services
  • Unison Health and Community Services

The GTA Clinic Transformation Project is based on recommendations in the discussion document Refining the delivery of client-centred poverty law, developed by six community legal clinics in Toronto's east end, with the support of LAO. This document examines the current realities of Ontario's growing and changing demand for legal aid services and how best to address that demand.

*subject to operational cost adjustments such as pay equity and rent adjustments, and so long as the Ministry of the Attorney General does not reduce funding levels to LAO.

SOURCE Legal Aid Ontario

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