Supreme Court Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, Chief Justice George R. Strathy & Attorney General Yfasir Naqvi to speak at 6th National Pro Bono conference

Ottawa (September 27, 2016) Leading figures from Canada’s legal profession are set to speak on the benefits of pro bono legal support to a fair and accessible justice system at the 6th National Pro Bono Conference. Running from tomorrow through September 30 at the Westin Ottawa, the conference is the only meeting in Canada dedicated to pro bono legal work. It is designed to give practitioners the tools they need to enhance and develop programs that result in on-the-ground solutions for Canadians to whom the doors of justice would be otherwise closed.

Supreme Court Justice Andromache Karakatsanis is hosting the welcome reception at the Supreme Court of Canada tomorrow evening and the Honourable George R. Strathy, Chief Justice of Ontario, will open the conference on the 29th. Ontario’s Attorney General, the Honourable Yasir Naqvi, will provide the lunchtime keynote address on September 30.

“The money spent on pro bono work in this country through organizations like Pro Bono Ontario is delivering more to provide access to justice - pound for pound, dollar for dollar - than any other kind of funding that can be found,” said Chief Justice Strathy.

Organized biennially by Pro Bono Canada, Pro Bono Ontario, Access Pro Bono BC, Pro Bono Law Alberta, Pro Bono Saskatchewan and Pro Bono Quebec, this conference is simply one component of the work these organizations do towards realizing the goal of guaranteeing all Canadians meaningful access to our justice system.

“For the past 15 years Canada’s pro bono programs have pioneered solutions to the access to justice crisis that create access to meaningful legal services for tens of thousands of Canadians each year,” says Guy Pratte, Chair of Pro Bono Ontario and Chair of the Conference Organizing Committee. “Our innovations have included technological aids to navigating the justice system, court-based programs for self-represented litigants, medical-legal partnerships, government pro bono and even legal clinics for start-ups and entrepreneurs. These solutions make a difference and teach important lessons to all providers about how to deliver modern legal services.”

Dennis O’Connor, Chair of Pro Bono Canada, believes the 6th National Conference will engender newer and broader solutions. “This conference isn’t about theoretical, esoteric discussions of the nature of the crisis. Rather, it’s an opportunity for practitioners to learn from each other so they can go home, enhance what they are doing and try new approaches. We also come together to make sure we’re doing this at a national level”

For full conference agenda and registration information, visit

About Pro Bono Ontario

Pro Bono Ontario (PBO) was founded in 2001 to bridge the gap between Ontarians who can’t afford legal assistance and lawyers who want to donate their services. PBO creates and manages programs that enable lawyers to help low-income Ontarians better navigate the justice system, understand their options and resolve their problems. PBO is funded in part by The Law Foundation of Ontario. It is Canada’s oldest and largest privately funded free legal service provider. In 2015, PBO 20,042 clients who had nowhere else to turn.

Media Contact: Lynn Burns 416-977-4448 ext. 925;

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