Workers at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC) are demanding that the Attorney General cancel a planned 10% cut to the centre’s funding on April 1, 2019.
OPSEU Local 5118 members are asking all OPSEU members and other concerned Ontarians to email Attorney General Caroline Mulroney and Premier Doug Ford by visiting www.HumanRightsMatter.net.
Our members do some pretty amazing work at the HRLSC. They answer tens of thousands of phone calls every year from Ontarians whose human rights may have been violated. They offer advice, support, and, for those who need legal representation, referrals to the HRLSC’s team of staff lawyers throughout the province.
They are also key members of the HRLSC’s Mediation Project, a team that helps settle more and more human rights disputes every year that might otherwise have gone to a lengthy and costly Human Rights Tribunal hearing. This Mediation Project is the target of the Ford government’s funding cut.
Award-winning efficiency at HRLSC
The OPSEU members who work on the Mediation Project create significant efficiencies for the HRLSC by doing work with clients that staff lawyers previously performed, such as initial interviews with clients and helping them file paperwork with the Human Rights Tribunal. Staff lawyers now have more time to help those clients settle their cases at the mediation stage.
And mediation works! Last year, the HRLSC’s Mediation Project helped people settle more than 400 cases without going to a hearing. They’ve achieved a 75% increase in mediated settlements over four years. The program is so effective that the Mediation Project team won the Ontario Public Service’s Amethyst Award in 2018, the highest award for excellence in the OPS.
We can’t imagine why the Ford government would want to slash funding for such a cost-efficient program that protects everyone’s human rights.
If you care about protecting human rights in Ontario, please take a moment to visit www.HumanRightsMatter.net and send an email to Caroline Mulroney and Doug Ford telling them to cancel the 10% funding cut to the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.