The completion of this comprehensive review of the legal aid system in Ontario could not have been achieved without the cooperation of literally hundreds of individuals across the province of Ontario. In chapter 1, we describe our consultation process which included a solicitation of briefs and a series of public hearings conducted in various centres across the province. The Review is very much indebted to all of those who made written submissions, participated in the hearings, and especially those, including local clinic staff and Area Directors of the Ontario Legal Aid Plan, who assisted the Review in organizing these hearings.
The Review was most fortunate in being able to appoint Professor Michael J. Trebilcock of the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto as our Research Director. Professor Trebilcock, in turn, assembled an excellent team of scholars and researchers who produced a remarkable body of research on various aspects of legal aid. Those papers, from which we have drawn quite freely in drafting our report, are reproduced in Volumes II and III. In our view, they constitute a major contribution to the analysis of legal aid issues. We are very grateful to Professor Trebilcock, and the members of the team which he assembled, for this contribution to our work.
Our researchers, in turn, were greatly assisted by a variety of groups and individuals. A number of the research studies were, in effect, case studies on particular substantive areas of the law. For each of these studies, we assembled Advisory Teams, the members of which are listed in Appendix C to this report. Copies of briefs relevant to particular projects were forwarded to the researcher in question. The senior management and staff of the Plan were very cooperative and helfpul in responding to what may have seemed like an endless series of requests for information concerning the operations of the Plan from our researchers and from the Review staff.
We wish to acknowledge explicitly the generous support of the Review afforded by the Provincial Director of the Plan, Robert L. Holden; the Deputy Director, Legal, George A. Biggar; the Deputy Director, Appeals, Ruth Lawson; the Deputy Director, Finance, David Porter; and the Manager of Clinic Funding, Joana Kuras. Our relationship with the Plan's administration was nurtured by the Legal Aid Committee of the Law Society and its Chair, Mary Eberts, and the Law Society's Clinic Funding Committee and its Chair, Paul Copeland, to whom we are also very grateful.
Members of the Review and our staff also profited greatly from numerous conversations with members of the Bench and bar, government officials, academics, researchers, members of legal organizations and community groups, and other concerned individuals who simply telephoned or wrote letters to the Review. Though it would be impractical to attempt to list these individuals, we are most appreciative for all of this assistance.
The organization and carrying out of the work of the Review required an expert and dedicated staff. Our Executive Director, and Senior Counsel, Lori Newton played a pivotal role, as did our Counsel, Aneurin Thomas. Karen Andrews, of the Ontario Bar, and Sarah Pearce, LL.B., provided valuable assistance in the latter stages of our work. We are very grateful to our Administrative Assistants, Tina Afonso and Cora Calixterio, whose tireless devotion to the many tasks at hand kept our heads above water throughout the exercise, to Margot Hall, who provided similarly valuable assistance to Professor Trebilcock, and, to Felicidad Gerona who assisted in the early stages of our secretarial work. We note, as well, our indebtedness to Sam Samanta of the Ministry of the Attorney General who assembled relevant statistical information for us, and to our editors Beverley Endersby and Doreen Potter who skilfully edited a large volume of material in a very short period of time.
While the Review is most appreciative of the support and assistance of all of the above- named and unnamed individuals, we accept, of course, full responsibility for the recommendations we have made in this report, with respect to which we are unanimous.