Community Advocacy & Legal Centre History

Year by Year Highlights:  1985-1988

Go to:   1981-1984 1985-1988;   1989-1992 1993-1995 


  • Organized an information session on proposed changes to Workers’ Compensation law.  This well attended event was the catalyst for the formation of the Quinte and District Injured Workers Group (QDIWG).

  • Did a great deal of public legal education speaking to over 40 community groups ranging from the Rotary Club, to Women’s Institutes, to Loyalist College classes, to single mothers’ groups.


  • Produced several self-help videos on Small Claims Court procedures.

  • Co-sponsored a workshop on domestic violence with the Quinte Coordinating Committee Against Domestic Violence held in September 1986.

  • Joined the newly formed Eastern Clinics Association.  The group now has several study groups: Executive Directors; Income Maintenance; Housing; Workers’ Compensation and Support Staff.  These groups meet on a quarterly basis for training and networking.

  • Worked with other concerned community members and the Quinte Labour Council to create the Gleaners Food Bank in Belleville.

  • Assisted in bringing Father Dennis Drainville, author of “Poverty in Canada” and director of STOP 103 in Toronto to speak to the community.

  • Made a submission to the Social Assistance Review Committee examining the need for comprehensive social assistance reforms.  SARC eventually produced a report “Transitions.  Staff have been heavily involved in reform efforts of the General Welfare Assistance Act and the Family Benefits Act ever since.


  • We moved to the new wheelchair accessible, and enlarged premises at 158 George Street in Belleville.  The official opening was held June 1987.

  • Service was expanded to the Bancroft office on December 7.

  • Began offering a Duty Counsel service for tenants in Hastings County every Wednesday morning.  This free service has continued into 1995.  We restricted this service to reviewing all files on the docket, providing advice to tenants, and assisting in settlement negotiations.

  • Presented to Father Sean O’Sullivan’s Committee on Advocacy for Vulnerable Adults.



  • Mourned the sudden death of much-valued clinic employee Bill Hockley. Bill was a community legal worker at the clinic since it began in December 1980. Originally        working through the Quinte Information and Assistance Centre, Bill was one of the people who developed the concept for a legal clinic in Belleville.  Bill is still remembered today by the board, staff and clients.



William C. Hockley

April 22, 1921 - June 2, 1988

  • Published “For Abused Women:  A Legal Rights Handbook.”  The first run of this handbook was 4,000 copies and it was distributed throughout Hastings and Prince Edward Counties.  We then distributed it throughout Ontario, targeting transition homes and shelters.  Community Legal Education Ontario, a legal clinic specializing in developing legal education materials, has taken over updating, publishing and distributing the handbook.  At last count, 143,033 copies have been distributed.

  • Organized a two day conference on March 24-25 called Law and the Handicapped.  This conference took in excess of 500 staff hours to organize, a Herculean task that was accomplished in addition to the staff’s regular responsibilities.

  • Clinic staff were successful in having a notorious local landlord fined $200 for contempt of court and ordered to pay $800 in costs for his disregard of the Judge’s Order.

  • Won a precedent-setting decision from the Social Assistance Review Board for a homeless client who had been improperly denied welfare on the basis that she did not reside in Prince Edward County.

  • Clinic staff carried an active caseload of 40-60 files in addition to their other responsibilities.

  • Developed a pamphlet bank to ensure that legal information was more available to the community.  Since 1988, we have distributed tens of thousands of pamphlets.  At one point we had in excess of 200 titles.  These pamphlets are available by mail, in response to inquiries or by visiting any one of our four offices.

  • Published our first newsletter to clinic clients and the community.  By 1995, we are producing 2-3 newsletter editions annually and distributing in excess of 1,000 copies each.