This year NLS is marking its 40th year of providing legal services to the low income residents of Toronto’s downtown east side. Only a few in the community now will recall that day in 1973 when the clinic opened its door in a house on Seaton Street. While the community has changed and continues to change in what is really a process of continual renewal, the basic legal needs the clinic addresses have not changed much. Fighting through the Courts and Tribunals, through law reform campaigns and through outreach and public legal education for better and more secure housing, better and more secure incomes and more secure status in Canada for immigrants and their families has been the mainstay of our work throughout the past 4 decades.
There are many benefits to being a Canadian citizen, one of which is the absolute right to enter and remain in Canada. Equally important is the right to vote. Recently the Canadian government has made changes to how it screens applications for citizenship. These changes are more “enforcement” oriented than ever before. NLS is concerned that recent changes have the potential to disproportionately further disenfranchise people already living on the margins for reasons of mental health or poverty; these applicants will be less likely to overcome the increased barriers to citizenship.
The federal government is scaling back temporary health care coverage for refugees and refugee claimants. The government claims that these changes are aimed at reducing “extra” healthcare coverage supposedly provided to refugee claimants, compared with what Canadians receive.
The NLS Blog
Our blog shares information with our community on legal developments and other important issues. As such we hope you'll find this blog informative - and maybe even fun.