Statement on Parkdale Community Legal Services

As Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School and Academic Director of Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS), we express deep concern about the drastic cuts to PCLS’s budget, announced earlier this week. As legal educators, we are dismayed by the lack of acknowledgement of the important and enduring connections among direct client services, law reform work and community organizing. We believe that effective and responsive law reform and community organizing can more productively address many of the problems that individual clients and community residents face. We strongly urge Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) to reconsider its position on PCLS, and to advocate to government to restore needed resources to the legal aid system more generally.

We are proud of Osgoode’s longstanding connection to PCLS, and grateful for the opportunities our students have received over the years to support the Parkdale-Swansea community in seeking redress for legal challenges. We are convinced that this has served the province by developing a generation of lawyers with public service ethics and an understanding of the many ways in which law can contribute to social justice. We hope to continue our longstanding partnership with LAO and to support our students’ learning, for the betterment of the legal aid system across the province. We ask LAO to do its part to achieve socially just communities in our city by restoring funding to PCLS.

Mary Condon
Dean (Interim) & Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School

Adrian Smith
Academic Director, Parkdale Community Legal Services (PCLS)
Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School