FCLS does get involved in law reform activities. These are activities where we are trying to get something changed to help improve the lives of our clients. Sometimes it is a simple process such as sending a letter to an elected official to ask that they work to change a particular policy or process. Sometimes it is more complicated such as appearing before a standing committee of the Ontario Legislature to advocate that a piece of legislation be changed. An example of that was when we argued before Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to make changes to the new Landlord and Tenant Act.
Advocacy is a means to achieve law reform. It means you speak to elected officials or you write letters or you attend meetings or do articles in a newsletter or newspaper. Some people feel that they need to attend demonstrations in order to present their opinions on what needs to be changed.
FCLS keeps in close contact with our municipal, provincial and federal elected officials and informs them of our concerns. We work with our community partners to identify areas in the law that could be improved.
One of our main law reform efforts has been our endorsement of the Reduction of Poverty campaign. In the last year we have been distributing our poverty reduction brochure at community events. It provides ideas on inexpensive and uncomplicated ways that poverty can be reduced in Ontario. Such an achievement would help to eliminate many of the legal problems currently affecting those living in poverty.
We work with a number of organizations, both in the clinic system, and within the community to promote positive changes to policies, legislation and regulations that affect our clients.