It’s good news for the legal aid system that the federal Liberals will spend $26.8 million for Ontario legal aid for immigrants and refugees, says a criminal lawyer. But Michael Spratt, says it doesn’t make up for a “lack of leadership” on the part of Ottawa or the province on legal aid issues.

Spratt told CBC News legal aid helps prevent wrongful convictions, and helps defendants who can’t afford representation from clogging the courts. And he supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s one-time legal aid top-up for refugees and immigrants to compensate for the cuts delivered by Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

But the federal Liberals haven’t made promised reforms to the legal system, he said. Every government, past and present, has dropped the ball on this.

Here’s what Spratt had to say about why reforms are needed, and how they’d be cheaper for taxpayers in the long run.

Read the full article: CBC News

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