EVERY YEAR, THE 519 PROVIDES SETTLEMENT SUPPORT TO OVER 1500 LGBTQ+ REFUGEES.
Refugees who come to Canada have a history of trauma and violence, as a result of which they decide to leave their countries of origin. They continue to face intense barriers after their arrival and are often left re-traumatized in the process of claim and re-settlement. LGBTQ refugees, as part of their claims process, also have to prove their sexual orientation and/or gender identity – a truth they have often have never lived in their countries of origin due to fear of persecution and violence.
Legal Aid funding is essential to protect the rights of such a vulnerable population and to ensure that their full story is heard by a refugee decision-maker through providing access to legal representation
For many of our refugee clients, appearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board unrepresented will be catastrophic and will no doubt result in examples where queer and trans refugees will be removed from Canada and returned to their countries of origin where they may very well face imprisonment, torture or even death.
We refer over 95% of our 1500+ clients to legal aid in order to get the support they need to be successful in their claims. Cuts to Legal Aid Ontario will make it impossible for settlement service organizations like ours to provide them the critical support they need to live a life of health, happiness, and full participation.
Legal Aid Clinics have been advocating for our communities for decades. It’s time we stand up for them:
Let them know your opinion.
Contact Premier Doug Ford, Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, and your Local MPP to let them know that access to justice is a fundamental right and that Ontario needs a legal aid system that works for the people.
Individualized emails are always the best. If you’re short on time, fill out the form below to contact Premier Ford and AG Mulroney.
If you want more information about how these cuts will affect LGBTQ refugees and other Ontarians, you can read up on the issue through our friends at:
Encourage your networks, community, clients, and friends to take action.
Share this information with your networks and tell them why legal aid support is so important, especially for LGBTQ refugees. Ask them to spend a couple of moments to join in standing up for access to justice.