A new “map” of legal services in Ontario shows that all across the province there are decent numbers of lawyers and paralegals compared the population.
Former Ontario chief justice Roy McMurtry released the “Geography of Civil Legal Services in Ontario” report today in Toronto. It is part of the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project, an initiative of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Legal Aid Ontario, and Pro Bono Law Ontario.
“We now have access to hard data that can be used to identify the civil legal needs of Ontario’s low- and middle-income communities, as well as the distribution of legal service providers available to meet those needs. We have not had access to this type of data before,” McMurtry noted at the report’s release.
Toronto and Windsor, Ont., are the biggest legal spenders among municipalities even as cities across that province have shown considerable restraint in their legal budgets, a new report shows.
The report for 2010 by the Ontario Municipal Benchmarking Initiative analyzes several major municipalities’ track records in a number of areas, including legal services. The survey of 12 municipalities shows that the median legal cost per $1,000 in municipal operating and capital expenditures decreased to $2.79 in 2010 from $3.05 in 2008.
Toronto, however, was regularly above its counterparts with a cost of $7.24 per $1,000 in 2008, a number that dropped to $4.21 in 2010. Windsor, meanwhile, spent $4.83 in 2008 but towered over all of the other municipalities measured in 2009 at $8.29. The number fell back to $4.90 in 2010. Barrie, Ont., Durham Region, Niagara Region, and Waterloo Region, all came in well under the median.