Racialized communities strategy

About the strategy

Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) has committed to developing a multi-year, multi-faceted, province-wide racialized

communities strategy that will build upon the services and supports that LAO already has in place.


Graphic of group of people talking

Who we’ve been talking to and the questions we’re asking

By Wayne van der Meide

In this first phase of the Racialized Communities Strategy, we are meeting with a wide array of stakeholders working in communities and/or the justice system.
During these meetings, we discuss and gather feedback on a number of issues.

The discussions are participant-driven, but usually focus on the perspectives of one or more racialized communities, often as those perspectives intersect with other identities such as gender, age, disability, etc.

To guide the discussion, we usually pose a number of questions, such as:

  • What is or isn’t working well in terms of Legal Aid Ontario’s rules and processes?
  • Are there any types of legal issues that impact your community(ies) for which there are no legal aid services available?
  • Are there ways in which legal aid services are provided that limit their effectiveness to your community(ies)?
  • Are there other agencies and people that we should speak with, and do you have recommendations as to how to effectively engage with these stakeholders?

To date, we have met with the following stakeholders:

  • African Canadian Legal Clinic
  • Afrikan Canadian Prisoners Advocacy Coalition
  • Alexandra Park Community Centre
  • Arab Canadian Lawyers Association
  • Black Action Defence Committee
  • Black Community Action Network of Peel
  • Canadian Association of Black Lawyers
  • Canadian Training Institute
  • Catholic Centre for Immigrants – Ottawa
  • Centre Des Services Communautaires de Vanier
  • Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples
  • Centre Francophone de Toronto
  • Chinese Canadian National Council of Toronto
  • Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change
  • Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers
  • Réseaux en immigration francophone
  • Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
  • Human Rights Legal Support Centre
  • India Rainbow Community Services
  • Jamaican Canadian Association
  • Jane and Finch Community Legal Clinic
  • Korean Canadian Lawyers Association
  • Korean Canadian Women’s Association
  • Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC)
  • Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
  • Midaynta Community Services
  • Mississauga Community Legal Services
  • Mount Sinai Hospital – “Because We Care”
  • North Peel & Dufferin Community Legal Services
  • Ontario Association of Childrens’ Aid Societies – “ONE VISION ONE VOICE: Changing the Child Welfare System for African Canadians”
  • Ontario Human Rights Commission
  • Rexdale Community Legal Clinic
  • Somali Centre for Family Services – Ottawa
  • South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
  • South Asian Women’s Centre
  • Tropicana Community Services
  • United Way of Peel Region Black Community Advisory Council
  • Urban Alliance on Race Relations
  • World Sikh Organization (WSO)
  • World Skills Employment Centre – Ottawa

Over the next three or four months, we will continue to meet with stakeholders.

If you would like to suggest someone that we should meet with, please send us an email to rcs@lao.on.ca or provide your suggestion anonymously through our website.