Funding crisis

Dear editor:
To the residents of Northwestern Ontario:
Who do you turn to when there is nowhere left to go?
If you are reading this letter, you may be one of the lucky people who has never had a need for your community legal clinic.
However, if you are hungry and have been refused welfare, if you are sick and have been refused Ontario Disability Support Program benefits, or if you have gotten a notice of eviction from your home, you may know about the help given to people by their Community Legal Clinic.
Legal Aid Ontario funds 79 legal clinics in Ontario. Here in Northwestern Ontario, we have three community legal clinics: Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic in Thunder Bay District, as well as the Rainy River District Community Legal Clinic and Kenora Community Legal Clinic.
We often are the only place people in our community who face difficult times can go for help—and we try to do everything we can to help them.
Right now, Legal Aid Ontario is facing a funding crisis, for criminal law, for family law, and also for clinic law. Unless the Ministry of the Attorney General provides more funding to Legal Aid Ontario for all of its programs, services in our communities could be cut.
There are so many things we do without in Northwestern Ontario. Please take time to tell our provincial government how important legal aid services are in our communities—and how important it is to all of us that legal aid and legal clinics receive more funding.
If you need us, will our services still be there?
Trudy McCormick
Executive Director
Rainy River District
Community Legal Clinic