Canadian Government: Fund Legal Aid Ontario’s Immigration and Refugee services
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Despite an escalation in the global refugee crisis, the Canadian federal government has not adjusted their contribution to Legal Aid Ontario appropriately since 2002. This failure of the government to adapt accordingly has left LAO with a shortfall 13 million dollars and a proposal to cut 40% of immigration and refugee law services as of July 1.
These proposed cuts will lead to inadequate legal representation for refugee claimants. Without essential legal help, the probability of a successful refugee hearing decreases dramatically. It will also lead to an increase in precariously housed refugees, as many would choose to pay for legal representation over housing and basic needs.
Therefore, we are calling on the federal government to increase their contribution to Legal Aid Ontario and ensure the right to protection for all refugees.
You can find the open letter written by the Coalition of Service Providers for Refugee Claimants in Southern Ontario to the government here.
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