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OCUFA urges Attorney General to reverse cuts to Legal Aid Ontario

New articles from Academic Matters

OCUFA urges Attorney General to reverse cuts to Legal Aid Ontario

On Wednesday, September 18, OCUFA President Rahul Sapra wrote to Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey to urge him to reverse the cuts to Legal Aid Ontario and to commit to protecting legal aid funding moving forward.

Legal Aid Ontario provides essential services for the most vulnerable in our province, such as injured workers, survivors of domestic violence, persons on social assistance, and other low-income and marginalized Ontarians. Faculty across Ontario are deeply concerned that the government’s decision to drastically cut the Legal Aid Ontario budget by 30 per cent will undermine access to justice, which is a fundamental right and a key tenant of democracy, for these vulnerable citizens. Faculty are particularly concerned about the impact of these cuts on women, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized persons who are disproportionately represented in Ontario’s low income population.

Some of the legal clinics that have received the most drastic cuts are those that have longstanding partnerships with Ontario law schools. Due to the cuts, the future of these partnerships is in doubt. The cuts to Legal Aid Ontario will also negatively impact legal education in the province. Student legal aid clinics are an integral part of Legal Aid Ontario, where law students provide free legal services to marginalized persons as part of their studies and training. The experiential learning law students are exposed to at legal aid clinics is irreplaceable in its value.

Sapra called on the Attorney General to reinstate legal aid funding and refrain from future cuts to Legal Aid Ontario.

Read the full letter here.

New articles from Academic Matters

There is more to Academic Matters than just the print issue. New articles are being added to the Academic Matters website every week. Here are some recent articles you might find interesting:

The importance of supporting international students with financial literacy education
By Vuong Hoang Tran and Victoria Handford, Thompson Rivers University
“The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has indicated that financial knowledge is a central life skill for participation in modern society. This supports the findings of Bryce Jorgensen and Jyoti Savla in Financial Literacy of Young Adults: The Importance of Parental Socialization ...”

The problem with the push for more degrees
By Johann N. Neem, Western Washington University
“A college education is valuable in the labour market precisely because it cannot be reduced to one set of skills. What makes college graduates desirable is their ability to think broadly about the world and their capacity to use language and numbers well. These outcomes ...”

Universities need to rein in academic air travel and greenhouse gases
By Julie Talbot, Université de Montréal and Julien Arsenault, Université de Montréal
“All these kilometres travelled for science leave their mark. Transport contributes significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions, which are largely responsible for the current climate change. Air transport alone contributes nearly two per cent of global annual emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and emits many ...”

What does ‘We are all treaty people’ mean, and who speaks for Indigenous students on campus?
By Paul McKenzie-Jones, University of Lethbridge
“While there has been a recent growing awareness of Indigenous cultures at Canadian universities, racism, violence and dismissal still dominate conversations on campus. In December 2015, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued its Calls to Action, education was at the centre. Many Canadian ...”

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The ‘slow professor’ could bring back creativity to our universities
By Julien Lefort-Favreau, Queen's University, Ontario
“Last summer, a friend gave me a copy of The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber, professors of English language and literature respectively at Queen’s University and Brock University. It gave me lots ...”

Why do college textbooks cost so much? 7 questions answered
By Amie Freeman, University of South Carolina
“The high price of college textbooks has long been a sore point for students. Even though the price reportedly went down by 26% since January 2017 – the first decrease in years – the overall trend in recent years has been a steady incline. Amie Freeman, a librarian at the University of South Carolina, explains the forces behind the prices ...”

Historians’ archival research looks quite different in the digital age
By Ian Milligan, University of Waterloo
“Our society’s historical record is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Think of all the information that you create today that will be part of the record for tomorrow. More than half of the world’s population is online and may be doing at least some ...”

Why building community – even through discomfort – could help stressed university and college students
By Shawna Shapiro, Middlebury
“It is a growing problem on campuses across America. Students entering college are reporting levels of anxiety, depression and social isolation higher than previous generations. The phrase “mental health crisis” has become commonplace within higher education circles. Today’s undergraduates belong to the group known ...”

Government funding in Australia will be tied to university performance from 2020: what does this mean, and what are the challenges?
By Emmaline Bexley, La Trobe University
“Education minister Dan Tehan met with university Vice Chancellors in Wollongong this week to discuss a new report on an upcoming funding formula for universities – performance-based funding. This report, and the proposed funding approach detailed in it, has been some time coming. In 2017 ...”

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