The above video is a wonderful documentary about the Mile End Legal Clinic, an organization that did more good in the last month than you’ve done in your lifetime. The Clinic helps people who can’t afford a lawyer get access to justice and know their rights, thanks to the efforts of lawyers and law students. Notwithstanding its name, it serves people from all over Montreal and Quebec. And I am proud to say that last week, I was named to their Board of Directors.
Now, you may say “but we have legal aid to help people who cannot afford a lawyer.” Well we do, but the system is pretty fucked. To qualify for legal aid as a single person in Quebec, you must have an annual income of $13,007 or less. Stats Canada’s Low Income Cut-off (essentially the “poverty line”, but they’re too chicken-shit to call it that) for a single person in Montreal in 2010 is $18,759. So basically, you can be poor and not qualify for legal aid. That’s fucked up. And that’s why clinics like Mile End are so important, and why I’m excited to help them as a Board member.
So let’s start with this – give them money. Your personal tax year is coming to an end, and you need some charitable deductions, don’t you? Or, you know, helping people.