LAO thanks outgoing CEO for his contributions to legal aid
December 17, 2015
On behalf of Legal Aid Ontario, I would like to thank Bob Ward for his tremendous leadership and commitment for access to justice over the course of the past nine years. He has taken LAO through some very difficult times and helped to shape it into a stronger organization.
Bob’s list of accomplishments during his tenure at LAO have been truly outstanding and helped to underscore his dedication to helping our clients. During his time with LAO, he oversaw the development of more client services that fit into our clients’ real life experience and expectations.
Under his leadership, LAO developed the Simplified Financial Eligibility Test, which was critical for making eligibility understandable to clients. We also developed the toll-free line, which connects low-income Ontarians to legal aid services, assistance and information in over 200 languages.
Bob oversaw the development of district offices across the province to strengthen LAO’s ties to local communities and enhance its understanding of local client needs. And he displayed an innate understanding of how LAO needed strategies that would address the complex needs of particularly vulnerable groups – such as those with mental illness or addiction issues, those experiencing domestic violence, people from racialized communities or who self-identify as Aboriginal, Métis or Inuit.
Also of great importance was how Bob led LAO back onto a solid financial foundation. He responded to the challenges and benefits of greater accountability. And while Bob was CEO, he advocated for and helped secure new provincial investment every year he served as our leader.
On a personal note, his support has been very important. His energy and devotion to his role leaves LAO a better organization and on a strong footing for those who follow him.
It is my pleasure on behalf of LAO to thank Bob for his dedication and all that he has accomplished during his time here as President and CEO. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.
Chair, Legal Aid Ontario