Study: make legal insurance more widely available for low-income Ontarians

A new report suggests that legal insurance be more readily available for middle-and-low income Ontario residents.

Legal insurance would provide coverage for representation by a lawyer in various transactions or litigation.

The report, produced for the provincial government by University of Toronto law professor Michael Trebilcock, examined the lack of funding for the Legal Aid Ontario.

He noted that the Canadian Auto Workers union, for example, provides members with legal insurance that acts as a non-profit trust to cover the costs of members’ divorces or real estate transactions, with partial funding available for legal matters that are not fully subsidized by the plan.

Trebilcock told the Toronto Star that the current legal aid system is “a serious political economy problem” and has recommended that the Law Society of Upper Canada explore means of making legal insurance such as the CAW’s model more widely available to individuals who don’t qualify for legal aid.

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