Listening to Ontarians

By: Ellen A. S. Low
If you’ve got a legal problem- you’re not alone. A recently released study titled “Listening to Ontarians: Report of the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project” looks at how well low, and middle-income earners are being served by the existing Ontario civil justice system.  The study found that one out of every three respondents had had some sort of civil legal problem in the last three years.
The report, authored in part by former Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry, and funded by the Law Society of Upper Canada, looks at the types of legal problems facing low and middle income Ontarians, how people find legal services, and makes recommendations to address some outstanding civil legal needs in Ontario.
In determining where respondents found legal services, almost 70% of respondents sought legal assistance from a lawyer whom they paid. Those surveyed were generally very satisfied with the assistance they received from lawyers and other professionals in the civil legal system, in fact, 80% of those surveyed stated that they found the assistance helpful.
With respect to the types of legal problems respondents were encountering, employment problems ranked third along with housing, land, and real-estate issues.
With respect to employment problems approximately 28% had taken less than a year to resolve. However, those who sought legal advice for employment matters stated the resolution process should be ranked low in terms of fairness.  In fact, 23% of respondents ranked the process for resolving an employment problem as “very unfair.”
Negotiating and resolving employment problems on your own can be extremely difficult.  Considering some previous horror stories, dependable legal advice for employment problems is invaluable.  If you have an employment law issue which warrants legal advice, please contact our office to arrange an initial consultation with counsel.
Ellen A. S. Low is an employment lawyer with Whitten & Lublin LLP, which is a team of legal experts who provide practical advice and advocacy for workplace issues.