Legalese

Sadly, many of the people who we help at The Legal Clinic have been the victims of a violent crime either as an adult or as a child. Many victims are not aware that they can apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for some compensation for the injuries they have incurred as a result of a crime of violence, including sexual assault, even if the crime was never reported to the police. In 1971 the Ontario Government established the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) pursuant to the Compensation For Victims of Crime Act to compensate victims of violent crime and family members of deceased victims of a violent crime. On their website, the CICB acknowledges that, “no amount of money can ever make up…

Are You Aware?

Written by  |  Thursday, 03 April 2014 16:15  |  Published in Legalese
Are you aware that while every person working in Canada must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN), the federal government is discontinuing production of the plastic SIN card? As of April 1, 2014, Service Canada will begin issuing social insurance numbers to individuals in a paper format instead of a plastic card. There will be no recall of existing SIN cards. Under regulations to the Employment Insurance Act, employees are required to provide their SIN either by presenting a SIN card, a letter confirming their SIN, or other documentation verifying their SIN. Are you aware that beginning July 1, 2014, employers in Ontario must ensure that all their workers and supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program? The content of the training must…

Legalese: Do You Want to be a Director?

Written by  |  Wednesday, 21 January 2015 18:51  |  Published in Legalese
Last year Rural Legal Services amalgamated with the Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Legal Clinic to form The Legal Clinic (TLC). As a community legal clinic, TLC receives funding from Legal Aid Ontario to provide a range of free legal services to the residents of northern Frontenac and northern Lennox & Addington counties, the county of Lanark and the united counties of Leeds & Grenville. Services include: legal information and summary advice casework and representation before courts and tribunals in certain areas of the law for financially eligible residents, and public legal education, law reform and community development. TLC is governed by a locally elected Board of Directors. On March 26 TLC will hold an Annual General Meeting to elect a new nine-member Board of Directors.…

Obtaining A Legal Aid Certificate Through New Call Centre

Written by  |  Wednesday, 19 March 2014 20:00  |  Published in Legalese
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) offers a variety of legal services for low income residents of Ontario including: Duty counsel services located at Family or Criminal court and at the Landlord and Tenant Board A Legal Aid Certificate program that covers the cost of retaining a lawyer to assist with certain complex and serious family and/or criminal law matters beyond the scope of duty counsel services Community legal clinics such as Rural Legal Services (soon to be known as The Legal Clinic) funded by LAO to represent low income Ontarians with a variety of legal issues including landlord & tenant, Ontario Disability Support Program and Canada Pension Plan Disability matters, employment law, wills and powers of attorney, consumer matters, criminal injuries compensation etc. Until a few…

Change

Written by  |  Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:16  |  Published in Legalese
by Susan Irwin, Lawyer/Executive Director Change is one of life’s few certainties. It applies equally to individuals and to organizations, although in the business context it is often described as “innovation” or “transformation”. Within the next few months, Rural Legal Services (RLS) will be undergoing a “transformative” change as we amalgamate with another rural community legal clinic, currently known as the Lanark Leeds & Grenville Legal Clinic (LANARK). As community legal clinics, both RLS and the LANARK receive funding from Legal Aid Ontario to provide a range of free legal services for our respective communities including: legal information and summary legal advice to area residents regardless of income; casework and representation before courts and tribunals in certain areas of the law for financially eligible residents,…

The duty to accommodate employees with disabilities

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 January 2014 19:00  |  Published in Legalese
By Anne-Marie Langan, Staff Lawyer In small rural communities where it may be difficult to find full time local employment, disabled workers often do not request accommodation for their disability for fear it will put their employment at risk. This is especially true for people who have a disability that would not be obvious to others, such as a chronic pain disorder, mental health issue or an addiction. Disabled employees can encounter discrimination in the workplace. Examples include the worker being made fun of by other employees and/or management because of the disability; the existence of a “poisoned work environment” that exacerbates symptoms of employees with mental health disorders such as anxiety and/or depression; employers refusing to give time off or flex time to accommodate…

Anti-terrorism law expands police powers

Written by  |  Wednesday, 27 November 2013 19:00  |  Published in Legalese
  Community Legal Education Ontario produces a monthly email bulletin called On the Radar. This month's On the Radar, reproduced for Legalese, looks at some of the laws that apply when the police decide to stop people on the street and question them. Under the federal Combating Terrorism Act, which came into effect earlier this year, police also have the power to detain someone to prevent a terrorist activity. Can the police stop and question someone? The police can approach someone and ask them questions but they must let them go on their way, unless they arrest them or have grounds (valid reasons) to detain them. For example, if the police are investigating a crime and they have a reasonable suspicion that a person is…

Pay attention to your hydro bills

Written by  |  Wednesday, 13 November 2013 19:00  |  Published in Legalese
By Anne-Marie Langan, staff lawyer,  Rural Legal Services Lately Rural Legal Services has had a rash of complaints from seniors, clients with disabilities and persons on a fixed income, about their Hydro Bills. These complaints have included: Usage has been grossly underestimated for months and then the customer receives a large bill showing that they are owing hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for prior months’ usage even though the customer has faithfully paid their bill by the due date. Usage has been overestimated and charges added to the bill that don’t seem to make any sense for past due amounts that have already been paid. People are receiving several bills in one month, all indicating different amounts owing and do not know how much…

Avoiding Telephone Trickery

Written by  |  Wednesday, 24 April 2013 20:00  |  Published in Legalese
  It is probably safe to say that telephone fraud was not what Alexander Graham Bell had in mind when he pioneered the telephone in the 1870s. Unfortunately, modern-day telephone scammers defraud consumers out of millions of dollars annually. We hope that this article will help you to protect yourself from becoming the victim of a telephone scam. How to Recognize Frauds and Scams Some of the most common telephone schemes are phishing, telemarketing scams, prize schemes, 1-900 numbers, and “emergency grandchild” fraud. Phishing is when someone pretends to be a trusted person or organization in order to steal your personal information, usually for the purpose of identity theft. Phishing calls often pretend to be from your bank, a charitable organization, or government agency. The…

Public Holidays and Workers’ Rights

Written by  |  Wednesday, 24 April 2013 20:00  |  Published in Legalese
  The information in this column was provided by Community Legal Education Ontario in its monthly email alert “On the Radar” Many of us look forward to the long weekend in May as the "unofficial" beginning of the summer. In anticipation of Victoria Day on May 20 and the other upcoming long weekends, this month's On the Radar looks at what the law says about public holidays. Does everyone get the holiday Monday off work? For most workers, Victoria Day is a public holiday under Ontario's Employment Standards Act (ESA). The ESA sets out minimum rules that employers must follow, including rules about public holidays. However, not all jobs are covered by the ESA, and, in some cases, only parts of the ESA apply. There…

Are you a Survivor of Violent Crime?

Written by  |  Wednesday, 20 March 2013 20:00  |  Published in Legalese
  Have you experienced assault? Have you ever been criminally harassed? Did you experience abuse as a child? Have you been the victim of domestic violence? If the answer is yes to these questions or if you have been the victim of another violent crime, you may be able to apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (“CICB”). The CICB is a program funded by the Ontario government to provide money to victims of violent crime. This program is governed by the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. You can apply for compensation from the CICB if you have suffered physical, mental, emotional, or psychological injuries as a result of a violent crime that was committed against you. In some cases, if you…

Pay Day Loans: Easy Cash and Pay Day Lending Services

Written by  |  Thursday, 20 December 2012 10:21  |  Published in Legalese
Consumers facing financial difficulty who are unable to obtain credit from a bank or other conventional lender often resort to using the services of a pay day lender. Here is some information you should know when dealing with a pay day lender. What is a Pay Day Loan? In a pay day loan the borrower asks for money before their pay cheque, government cheque, or other funds become available. The pay day lender advances the funds, and when the borrower receives the anticipated cheque they use it to repay the loan. Pay day lenders often operate under names like “Cash 4 You” and “Cash Money”. While these loans may be quick and easy to obtain, interest rates can be very high and the repayment due…

Legalese - Powers of Attorney

Written by  |  Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:20  |  Published in Legalese
Every day we make decisions that affect our personal health and financial well-being. Having the capacity to make decisions means that we are able to understand information needed to make a decision and to appreciate the consequences of making or not making a decision. But what if you lose that capacity? Who will make decisions for you? By making Powers of Attorney you can decide who decides. Powers of Attorney allow you to give another person or persons, known as your attorney or substitute decision maker (SDM), the power to make decisions for you. Financial decisions such as paying your bills, managing your bank account, borrowing money and buying or selling property can be made by your SDM under a Continuing Power of Attorney for…

Surviving Home Renovations under the Consumer Protection Act

Written by  |  Thursday, 01 November 2012 11:18  |  Published in Legalese
Home renovation projects can be long and costly. While consumers are protected by numerous provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 (CPA), contractors are largely unregulated, allowing unscrupulous contractors to take advantage of consumers. Home renovation grievances were the second most common complaint received by the Ministry of Consumer Services from 2004 to 2010. Taking time to plan, organize, and educate yourself before beginning a renovation project can help the process to go more smoothly. This article will give you an overview of what you should know when dealing with a contractor, and what you can do if you need to seek legal recourse. Renovation Agreements and Estimates Home renovation agreements must be in writing if they involve $50 or more of goods or services,…

Thinking About Renting: How does the Residential Tenancies Act apply?

Written by  |  Thursday, 20 September 2012 11:15  |  Published in Legalese
If you are thinking about renting a place to live, or becoming a landlord, you need to be informed about the law. The Residential Tenancies Act (Act) is a law that governs the relationship between residential landlords and tenants in Ontario. It sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, and establishes the Landlord and Tenant Board. The Board is responsible for informing landlords and tenants about the law, and for resolving landlord and tenant disputes through hearings and mediation. The Act applies to most residential rentals including mobile homes, rooming houses, care homes, and in some cases, motel rooms. However, the Act does not apply to some living situations. For example, it doesn’t apply if the tenant must share a kitchen or…
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