An outpouring of support from the legal profession has made a difference at Pro Bono Ontario (PBO), as the organization expects the Law Help Centres, in danger of closing on Dec. 14, will remain open in the short term until more sustainable funding can be secured.
Members of the profession who have been urging the provincial government or the Law Society of Ontario to provide sustained funding, have turned out their own pockets to keep PBO’s Law Help Centres open. The court-based centres in Toronto and Ottawa assist over 18,000 Ontarians facing the justice system alone.
Dirk Derstine, President of the Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA), said the TLA’s board realized the situation was dire and decided to make a $35,000 donation to fill PBO’s short-term fundraising goal to keep the doors of the centres open until more sustainable funding can be secured.
“I think that everybody in the justice system recognizes what a crucial role Pro Bono Ontario plays in the administration of justice,” he said, noting that it provides people a shot at getting help and also saves the judicial system a lot of time. “It’s a wonderful program and it’s a program that ought to be funded by government,” he added. Read the full article.