Statistics Canada Report on Legal Aid

Statistics Canada released today a report on “Legal Aid in Canada: Resource and Caseload Statistics.” [HTML, PDF] The report consists, essentially, of some 30 tables of data; however, there is a helpful page of “highlights” that verbalizes some of this information. Thus, for example, we learn that:

In 2008/2009, legal aid plans spent approximately $730 million on providing legal aid services in 11 provinces and territories [excluding NL & PEI], which amounts to approximately $22 for every Canadian. After adjusting for inflation, legal aid spending was up about 6% from the previous year

The federal government contributes directly to the cost of criminal legal aid. In 2008/2009, funding for all 13 jurisdictions totalled $112 million. Federal contributions to provincial legal aid plans were unchanged from the year before. . . .

Following two years of decline, the 11 reporting legal aid plans registered an increase of 4% in legal aid applications in 2008/2009. There was an equal increase for both criminal and civil legal aid applications. Just over 780,000 applications for legal assistance were received; applications for criminal matters accounted for 43% while the remainder of the applications were for civil matters (57%).

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