community legal clinic was first funded by the Ontario Legal Aid
Plan (now known as "Legal
Aid Ontario" or LAO) in October 1980 and was known as Hastings
and Prince Edward Legal Services (HPELS). In 2004 the clinic’s name
was officially changed to Community Advocacy & Legal Centre (CALC)
to reflect its expansion to serve the low income residents of three
Eastern Ontario counties.
The clinic owes its existence to the efforts of committed staff and
Board volunteers from the former Quinte Information and Assistance
Centre (QIAC). QIAC had also functioned as a Landlord and Tenant
Bureau and had offered information and advocacy services in
Unemployment Insurance, social assistance and consumer matters.
The clinic opened its doors to the public in December 1980. When the
clinic was finally incorporated in April 1981, its objects were to:
Operate a full service law office
Establish legal education programs
Publish legal education literature
Organize people or groups for test case or
law reform purposes.
Clinic staff were mandated to serve
low income residents throughout Hastings and Prince Edward counties.
Operating from a storefront in downtown Belleville, the four member
staff included an Executive Director/lawyer, two community legal
workers and a secretary/receptionist. In 1985 part-time satellite
offices were opened in
Picton when Legal Aid provided funding for another staff lawyer.
The part-time office in
Bancroft was opened in 1987, when Legal Aid funded another
lawyer and eventually additional support staff to assist with the
growing workload. The same year the clinic moved its main office to
158 George Street in
Belleville to better serve all the residents of the two
counties. In 2002 the clinic officially expanded to take on Lennox &
Addington County and was funded for a total of ten positions, which
now include an Executive Director/Lawyer, Office Manager, five
lawyers, a community legal worker, a law clerk/advocate, and a legal
secretary/intake worker. A part-time satellite in
Napanee opened in March 2002. In 2004, a part-time satellite was
In recent years, additional part-time staff have been hired from
special grant funding from the Provincial Homelessness Initiative
Fund and Hastings County for an Eviction Prevention Project (link
to project description to follow), from the Advocacy Centre for
Tenants Ontario for Tenant Duty Counsel services, and Pro Bono Law
Ontario for a Pro Bono Project (link to project description to
We would not have been able to
accomplish anything without the support of our community for the
last twenty-five years. We are thankful for the support of many
individuals, groups, organizations,
Legal Aid Ontario and Area Office staff, Law Associations, and
members of municipal councils, and provincial and federal
For more information about the history of our clinic and Legal
Aid, please read:
This site provides general information
only, specific to Ontario, Canada. It is NOT legal advice.
Please call us or a lawyer in your area for advice on your particular
situation. Visit the
Legal Aid Ontario site to find a clinic in your area.