Legal Aid Commission
The Legal Aid Commission ensures that persons with limited financial means have access to legal counsel.
Providing legal representation to all financially eligible persons as follows:
Legal representation is provided to adults charged with indictable offences, summary conviction offences under federal legislation if conviction will likely result in a jail term or loss of means of earning a livelihood, and appeals on criminal charges if the case has merit or the Crown requests one. Limited coverage is provided for provincial offences;
Family matters such as divorce, custody, access, child protection and wardship are covered. Maintenance cases are covered if one party is represented by a private lawyer, restraining orders are covered depending on hardship, matrimonial property is covered if a private lawyer is not found who is prepared to do it on a contingency basis and the case has merit, adoption cases are covered subject to case merit. Appeals are covered for family cases subject to case merit;
Youths are covered for all federal indictable and summary conviction offences. Appeals on youth matters are covered if the case has merit or if the Crown requests one; and
In civil matters a decision about granting legal aid takes into account the possibility of success, the cost of proceeding relative to anticipated loss or recovery and a likelihood of enforcing judgment. Refugee matters are covered. Matters included are motor vehicle negligence, property actions, damage actions, landlord tenant disputes, worker’s compensation, wrongful dismissal, personal injury, social assistance, unemployment insurance claims and civil suits brought by the defendant.