I won’t be posting on Slaw for a few weeks and so will use this post to identify upcoming developments at the LCO.
We’ve got a number of consultation papers coming out in the next little while. The first one is in our family law process project; it is really a consultation paper about how we’ll do consultations in that project. On that front, it is worth noting that the Attorney General has announced initiatives in family law process possible as a result of increased legal aid funding over the next four years. Obviously, we’ll be watching these developments as we carry out our own project in the area. We’ll be released a paper in our Provincial Offences Act project in mid-October. It lists several issues that preliminary consultations and independent research have identified as relevant to a modernization of the POA and asks whether any or all of these issues should be the focus of LCO consideration, respondents’ views on these issues and whether there are additional issues we should address that aren’t in the paper. The Consultation Paper in the vulnerable workers/precarious work project is nearing completion and will likely be released in November. As usual, we will post these papers on our website and send them electronically to interested organizations and individuals. Feedback can take the form of formal written submissions, interviews, focus groups, telephone conversations, web based discussions and the comment box on the LCO website. We’re open to other ways of providing feedback, too.
There’ll be a roundtable/symposium in our joint and several liability project at the end of October, attended by a wide range of people with diverse interests in this area. This is a very limited project, joint and several liability under the Ontario Business Corporations Act. Insights gathered at the roundtable will be incorporated into a paper that will then be posted and distributed for more extensive input. This project will likely be completed by next spring or early summer.
We are beginning the evaluation of the LCO this week as part of the preparation for our application for renewal to our funders and the law deans. It will include interviews with professional and community groups with whom we have had dealings over the past couple of years (“interviews” may be focus groups and surveys, given the cost factor). The evaluation is intended to assess our achievements to date, our internal organization, how we select and carry out projects, suggestions for improvement and recommendations or thoughts about how we might change the Agreement that created the LCO and our practices, among other things, should we be renewed. This is really about, whether we are doing what we set out to do and are we doing it well enough at this point to warrant further support.
I suspect that our website won’t be up and running until November. We’ll also be releasing our fall newsletter, Liaison, in November.