Dear community members, allies, supporters, friends, alumni,
This week on Wednesday June 12th, PCLS received a one-million dollar budget cut from our core funder, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO). The cut is applied over two years and represents 45% of our funding from LAO. We also must leave our current office on July 31, 2019 – moving to temporary locations with only one small office in the community.
Read our June 12, 2019 public statement and write to the Attorney General. It is clear that Legal Aid Ontario is targeting PCLS for our community organizing, outreach and education campaigns; and failing to value the vital training of future lawyers that we provide.
We are in the midst of planning our continued response to the cuts.With 48 years in the community, PCLS is looking forward, not back. We need your support to do this. We are committed to staying in the community and focused on legal representation, education, outreach and organizing that fights the impacts of poverty, amplifies voices, and organizes for change.
Community Update and Action Meeting
Date: Thursday June 20, 2019
Time: 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Location: 1266 Queen Street West
Come to a community meeting to provide updates on the funding cuts and their implications for legal services in Parkdale. Following the announcement, there will be an open mic and opportunities to engage in supportive actions.
For more information contact: 416-531-2411 ext. 247
Media enquiries: 416-531-2411 ext. 242, email@example.com
Recent Background Events
In October 2018, we received an eviction notice from our landlord of 18 years. In our rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood, we were squaring with the similar pressures of displacement that we fight against so that tenants can remain rooted in their homes.
Many of you helped us fight against the eviction. We settled with the landlord to leave our current office space by July 31, 2019.
We quickly found adequate space and were busy preparing to enter a new office in the community.
On April 11th, 2019, the provincial government cut funding to LAO by 30%.
LAO approved our new office space lease in principle, but on April 30, 2019, they withdrew their support. They indicated that they were unwilling to commit to more than one year of funding and were unwilling to assist with moving or set up costs.
That decision alone, mere months before our expected move, put the continuation of our services in serious doubt.
The additional million-dollar budget cut is so devastating that there is absolutely no way that even our individual client casework will not be affected. We will lose staff and our ability to represent the community with both their individual and systemic issues will be severely compromised. Our student program is thrown into jeopardy with such a drastic cut.
A big and deep thank you to each of you that has already participated in both advocacy and fund development on behalf of PCLS. The encouragement and dedication that so many of you have already provided and keep showing up for shines brightly in the face of such targeted attacks on the lives and rights of those in poverty.
We are in this together and we stand with you on fighting against the cuts to legal services that fight against inequality, injustice and oppressions.
Stay involved by attending the community meeting on June 20th at 6:00PM, read thepublic statement and write to the Attorney General.
Without funding from the government or increased funding from our donors, Osgoode Hall Law School and Legal Aid Ontario, PCLS is in dire need of funds.
If you have any access to financial resources, we are asking for donors like you to help us survive. Make a donation of any amount to help save the clinic and allow us to continue to serve the community.
PCLS remains committed to making information on our services and changes accessible to our community members and supporters. Regular updates are available on ourWebsite, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Clinic Director, Parkdale Community Legal Services
(416) 531-2411 ext. 242.