Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
Thank you very much for your testimony today.
Ms. Mattoo, you indicated that you believe counsel should be an important component of the assistance that a complainant, someone who has been victimized, should have. Would you agree that this is a step in the right direction, that the counsel for the hearing of the complainant is the first step and that it should continue throughout the process? Is that basically what you're saying?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
—in this area. That's one step in the right direction.
At one point in time, you said that your organization provides non-legal advocates to help navigate the system for the victims. Would it be better to have a legal advocate? I mean, trying to stick—
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much for your testimony here today.
Monsieur Aucoin, in one of the comments you made, you said you did a case and did not bill 40 hours of your work on it. Did you not bill because legal aid wasn't going to cover it, or were there restrictions on how many hours you could put in? What was that all about?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Fair enough, then.
You said there are bilingual lawyers who will not take legal aid cases. Why is that? Is it just the amount of money they're going to get out of it, or is it too complicated? What's the issue there?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Well, you're in the middle of an election in Nova Scotia.
Madam Chamagne, you might answer this as well. Is it something that's being raised? Are they questioning the different political parties as to where they might stand on this?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
But nobody is asking during this provincial election about the resources for legal aid, that you know of.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
Fair enough.
Monsieur Aylwin, you made a couple of interesting comments. You said that the competition between legal aid lawyers and private sector lawyers has been a good thing. Tell me about that. Is there competition to get the work?
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
I think that's an excellent idea, but anyway, that's another story.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
That's interesting. In one of your examples, you said that the legal aid lawyers can sometimes make money if they get a number of pleas or convictions on summary conviction. Sometimes that might work to the disadvantage of the lawyer—
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
—if they are charged with a hybrid offence and they put a lot of hours into convincing the crown to reduce it to a summary conviction, and then they find out that they get their $150 in the mail or whatever it is. So it's not necessarily to their advantage.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
That's a very good point.
You mentioned criminal summary offences and the federal government's role. Other than creating the offences, which is the federal government's role, there are no consequences.... You referred to it in the middle of your testimony, and I may have misunderstood what you said, but you made a specific reference to the federal government with respect to legal aid. I wonder if you could expand on that.
View Rob Nicholson Profile
CPC (ON)
You said that some of the fees paid to lawyers are not comparable with the fees paid other provinces. Were you talking about Quebec, specifically?
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