Canada: Trudeau slams Ford for legal aid cuts as federal funding announced - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaTrudeau slams Ford for legal aid cuts as federal funding announced

02:17  13 august  2019
02:17  13 august  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

Doug Ford Is Once Again Asking Ontarians To Call Him For Legal Aid Help

Doug Ford Is Once Again Asking Ontarians To Call Him For Legal Aid Help KITCHENER, ONT. — Ontario Premier Doug Ford doubled down on his promise to help anyone who calls his office get legal aid Friday, even though he’s already ignored dozens of requests for assistance. “We’re going to try to help everyone on legal aid,” Ford told HuffPost Canada after a transit announcement in Kitchener, Ont. “I try to help everyone and I’ll continue to help anyone who calls. I do my best.” But Michael Spratt, a criminal defence lawyer in Ottawa, says he’s contacted Ford’s office more than 40 times on behalf of his clients who have been denied legal aid and hasn’t gotten any help.

+ Legal Aid Ontario’s funding was slashed by 30 per cent in the province’s 2019 budget, prompting criticism from lawyers and the federal government. The Doug Ford government said the cuts — which mean Legal Aid Ontario will receive 3 million less in this fiscal year than the 6 million it had

Legal Aid Ontario provides legal support and representation for residents with little to no income, at family and criminal court, and to refugee claimants But the cuts are influencing Ford ’s popularity, according to the poll. Fifty-five per cent of Ontarians are strongly opposed to cutting legal aid ’s

Trudeau slams Ford for legal aid cuts as federal funding announced© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston Prime Minister Justin Trudeau smiles at the Parkdale Intercultural Association in Toronto, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019 as he announces funding for legal aid in Ontario.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced one-time legal aid funding of $26.8 million for refugee and immigration cases.

"The federal government is choosing to step up," he said.

"We will be investing $26.8 million this year to ensure that legal aid services for immigrants and refugees continue in the province of Ontario."

Trudeau made the comments during a tour of the Parkdale Intercultural Association in Toronto.

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+ Despite cuts to Ontario’s legal aid system announced in the 2019 Ontario budget, Premier Doug Ford Asked about human impact changes to legal aid funding that amount to a cut of 30 per cent, Ford In response to the cuts announced in the budget, the federal government said it is “deeply

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According to a press release, the funding will be split. Ontario will receive $25.7 million, British Columbia will get $1.16 million and Manitoba will see $0.02 million.

READ MORE: Legal aid cuts prompt Ontario-wide day of action

The funding announcement comes after cuts to the service were delivered in Ontario Premier Doug Ford's annual budget.

Ford's spring budget slashed Legal Aid Ontario's budget by 30 per cent, including eliminating funding for refugee and immigration law services — a move that refugee lawyers and advocates have said will hurt vulnerable migrants and that the Immigration and Refugee Board has said will slow down its cases.

During the announcement on Monday, Trudeau slammed the cuts.

“The fact that we have to be here today to recognize that yet another conservative government, the government of Doug Ford is walking away from services for the most vulnerable is really frustrating for me and I think for all Canadians,” he said. "There's conservative politicians [who] keep trying to move us back and make the most vulnerable hurt for the decisions that they make."

Refugee lawyers applaud federal funding after Ford's legal aid cuts; province questions timing

Refugee lawyers applaud federal funding after Ford's legal aid cuts; province questions timing Refugee lawyers are applauding the federal government's decision to put $26 million toward Ontario refugee and immigration legal aid services after the province cut the program's budget in the spring. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the one-time injection Monday — a welcome move for lawyers who found themselves unable to assist refugees with claims beyond the initial application when Doug Ford's government slashed the Legal Aid Ontario's budget by 30 per cent.

Attorney General George Brandis backflips on legal aid cuts with .7m funding boost. FAMILY violence campaigner Rosie Batty was in tears when she learned the federal government had backed Attorney-General George Brandis has announced an extra .7 million to extend legal aid funding

A truck sign slamming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is causing people around Strathcona County, Alta. to raise their He cited concerns such as the federal government's exclusion of Edmonton from extended EI benefits, and the state of Alberta's economy.

"Conservative politicians like to say they're for the people but they end up cutting services for the most vulnerable. It's what they do."

Ontario's Attorney General Doug Downey had argued that immigration is a federal responsibility, so Ottawa should shoulder the costs.

He said Ontario had not been receiving the same level of funding as other provinces for legal-aid services provided to immigrants — other provinces get upwards of 90 per cent of the costs covered, while Ontario only got 35 per cent.

"Ontario welcomes more immigrants and refugees than any other province in Canada," Downey wrote in a letter to Trudeau dated July 18. "Yet, Ontario receives the least federal funding to help cover the costs of claims in your federal tribunal."

"I have one simple ask: instruct your Ministers to reply to Ontario's earlier requests for proper federal funding of legal aid for immigration and refugee claimants," the letter reads.

Thomas Walkom: Will Justin Trudeau’s attack on Doug Ford work in Ontario?

Thomas Walkom: Will Justin Trudeau’s attack on Doug Ford work in Ontario? Justin Trudeau was on television again this week badmouthing Doug Ford. This time, Canada’s prime minister was scolding Ontario’s premier for cutting legal aid to refugee claimants and immigrants. Ford’s Progressive Conservative government made the cuts because it contends that refugee claimants are a federal responsibility. 

TORONTO — Canada’s most populous province and the federal government engaged in a pitched battle for public opinion over the carbon tax as it launched Monday, just six months ahead of the federal election.

+ OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a message to Ontario’s French-speaking minority today in light of budget cuts in the province that affect them: the federal government has your back.

In a tweet posted Monday afternoon, Downey reacted to the funding announcement.

"It is good @justintrudeau has partially answered my call to accept responsibility to fund immigration and refugee legal aid," he wrote. "Funding in non-election years is also needed."

READ MORE: Despite budget cuts, Ford ‘guarantees’ anyone who needs legal aid will get it

According to Trudeau, the federal government will also be topping up investments in other provinces to "reach the 100 per cent funding mark for legal aid immigrants and refugees."

Over the next year, he said, the government will "engage in reflections and conversations" about how to ensure the long-term sustainability of legal aid for refugees and immigrants.

"We will work very hard, like I know many Ontarians will to make sure that this Ontario government understands that you cannot continue to harm vulnerable people and pretend that you are actually for the people," Trudeau said. "So that is what we are going to stay focused on."

In a statement issued Monday, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) said it "welcomed" Monday's announcement.

"This money, along with funding earmarked in the federal budget for legal aid for immigrants and refugees, is a necessary commitment if Canada is to continue calling itself a humanitarian country, founded on the rule of law," CBA President Ray Adlington said.

"We recognize that there are complex issues at play when it comes to determining funding levels, but the CBA believes federal, provincial and territorial governments have a responsibility to show leadership on this issue."

— With files from Erica Vella and the Canadian Press

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