To promote and encourage active participation by those in the lower income population in addressing issues to do with poverty and social justice.
Lake Country Community Legal Clinic opened as Muskoka Legal Clinic in June 1990. The need for legal services for low income residents of the District Municipality of Muskoka was recognized and the community approached Ontario Legal Aid Plan (now Legal Aid Ontario) to fund a community legal clinic. The clinic's main office is in Bracebridge and the first satellite office was opened in Huntsville in 1992.
In 2000 the catchment area of the legal clinic was expanded to include the District of Parry Sound and the name was changed to Lake Country Community Legal Clinic (LCCLC). With the expansion, 2 more satellite offices were opened in Parry Sound and South River.
Summary Legal Advice, Brief Services and Referrals
LCCLC provides free summary legal advice and brief services in our Areas of Legal Practice [see below]. There are no financial eligibility guidelines for LCCLC summary advice and brief services. If we cannot provide advice, we will do our best to provide information and referrals to other services.
LCCLC's Areas of Legal Practice Include:
- Income Security (including Ontario Disability Support Program, Ontario Works, Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security);
- Housing/Tenant Rights (tenants, Co-op members, etc.);
- Workers' Compensation (WSIB);
- Human Rights (federal and provincial);
- Employment Insurance;
- Substitute Decision Making and Powers of Attorney;
- Elder Law Issues;
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Board applications for victims of crime;
- Other Administrative Law Matters.
Although we do not practice all areas of law, we may be able to provide information or referrals to other services.
For more information on our Outreach work, and the Legal Clinic might help you or your organization, click here.
Public Legal Education Presentations
LCCLC staff do public legal education presentations all over Muskoka and Parry Sound. Our presentation topics include:
- Criminal Injuries Compensation;
- Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Planning;
- Government Sources of Income for Individuals and Families;
- Ontario Disability Support Program Overview;
- Introduction to Ontario's Human Rights System;
- Your Rights as a Tenant;
- Canada Pension Plan;
- Prevention of Elder Abuse;
We may do presentations on other topics or we may be able to suggest other speakers. Please contact us to ask us about a presentation, workshop or for our participation in an event or conference.
We also do community development. This work includes organizing tenants and other low income residents of our community. This organizing work ensures that low income people with lived experience are speaking out about social justice issues that affect them. One example is we hold a Social Justice Speakers School. This is a 12 week course that teaches research and public speaking on social justice issues. We are also involved with the local poverty reduction committees.
Another part of our work is challenging laws that are unjust or have a negative impact on the low income community we serve. We do this work through test case litigation in the courts and through submissions to legislative standing committees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please note: the following FAQs concern clinic operations and do not address substantive legal matters. For legal advice or information please contact the clinic.
FAQs are available for download.