Last week it was announced that Pro Bono Ontario Law Help Centres will be closed. Pro Bono Ontario is a charity. As part of its mandate, it has set-up three Pro Bono Help Centres (two in Toronto and one in Ottawa). The centres help self-represented litigants with their civil cases.
Pro Bono Ontario relies on lawyers to volunteer their time. However, it requires $500,000 for its operating expenses. These expenses include rent and the cost of administrative staff.
Pro Bono Ontario has a $10 return for every dollar invested. This amounts to around $5,000,000 in savings to the provincial government.
Despite the value it offers the public, Pro Bono Ontario’s request for bridge funding from the Ontario government was denied. As a result, the Centres cannot operate past December 14, 2018.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by former Ontario Bar Association president Quinn Ross.
A petition can also be signed here to establish a source of funding for Pro Bono Ontario.
(Views are my own and do not represent the views of any organization.)