Premier Doug Ford’s “guarantee” of legal aid to Ontarians who called his office forced his top staff to correct his statement and raised concerns about potential political interference, according to newly revealed internal documents.
The documents show how senior officials struggled to deal with the fallout from Ford’s off-the-cuff remarks to a Toronto radio station, after his government’s April budget slashed funding to Legal Aid Ontario by $133 million.
The documents also reveal that people who actually contacted Ford about their legal aid problems were shuffled off to the attorney general.
Ottawa lawyer Michael Spratt obtained the documents through a freedom of information request and posted them to his blog this week.
Michael Spratt, the lawyer who obtained the documents, said it’s wrong for Ford to leave people with the impression he can guarantee them legal aid.
“It’s extremely troubling and shows a disengenous and callous attitude,” said Spratt in a phone interview Wednesday.
“After promising to help these individuals, the premier’s response is essentially, ‘It’s not my problem, talk to the attorney general,’ knowing full well that the attorney general’s response is, ‘We’re unable to do anything, take up your problems with Legal Aid Ontario.'”
Read Mike Crawley’s full article: CBC