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Ottawa, January 28, 2019 – Since the Legal Information Centre of Ontario opened four years ago, it has helped more than 8,300 people searching for legal information in both official languages. Ontario residents have an increasing need to know and understand their rights, as illustrated by the 2,999 people who used the Centre’s services in 2018. This is a nearly twofold increase in two years, and an 84% increase compared to the 1,627 people who accessed the centre in 2016.

 

A service that is both indispensable and one-of-a-kind

 

The Centre is the only service of its kind in Ontario. It offers legal information in all fields of law and without any admissibility criteria. The toll-free line makes the Centre’s services accessible everywhere in Ontario. In fact, 1 of 4 of the Centre’s clients this year lived outside of Ottawa.

 

Today, the Centre is an indispensable tool to advocate for access to justice in both official languages. The Centre, which recently received the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario’s Prix de l’horizon franco-ontarien, helps vulnerable and unrepresented litigants. The Centre’s services are free and easy to access. This past year, most of its clients were low-income individuals. Sixty-four percent of clients had an annual income under $30,000, and 87% did not have legal representation.

  

The Centre works closely with local, provincial and federal resources to serve Ontario residents and would therefore like to sincerely thanks its government, legal and community partners for their client referrals and their support of its daily activities.

 

 The Centre offers a free 30-minute meeting with a lawyer to anyone faced with a legal issue. The lawyer provides legal information and steers Ontarians toward the appropriate local and provincial resources. Information, referral and support services are offered in English and in French, in person or by telephone, on a confidential basis.

 

The Ottawa Legal Information Centre is an initiative of the Association of French-Speaking Jurists of Ontario (AJEFO). The AJEFO would like to thank the Department of Justice Canada for its financial support by the means of the Action Plan for Official Languages – 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future. The AJEFO would also like to thank the Government of Canada for its support through the Ministry of Canadian Heritage.

 

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