Ontario lawyers plead for Legal Aid help

By Neasa MacErlean

13 December 2013 at 09:10 BST

The Criminal Law Association and Ontario Legal Aid have combined forces to call for Legal Aid changes from both the federal and local governments.

Will the Ottowa government respond? Roger de Montfort

Lou Strezos, vice president of the association, said: 'The real danger is that people who are innocent, people who are being imprisioned, are not getting access to justice.' More Legal Aid funding is available to defendants who plead guilty than those who do not. Someone making a guilty plea will get Legal Aid if they earn less than Can$18,500 a year (£10,670) but the threshold goes down to Can $10,800 (£6,230) for others. 

Built-in slope

James Foord, president of the Defence Counsel Assocation of Ottowa, said: 'There are built-in slope towards pleading guilty. You get a lawyer if you want to plead guilty, you don’t get one if you want a trial.' Source: Ottowa Citizen


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