Ryan Peck, HALCO’s executive director (and lawyer), has been awarded the 2016 Sidney B. Linden Award. This award from Legal Aid Ontario recognizes individuals who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to assisting low-income Ontarians in the pursuit of access to justice. For more information about Ryan’s award, please see the Legal Aid Ontario announcement: www.legalaid.on.ca/en/news/newsarchive/2017-01-10_SBLaward-winner.asp.
Since starting as HALCO’s executive director in 2007, Ryan has diligently worked to further HALCO’s mandate of advancing the human rights of people living with HIV, and of using laws and the legal system to reduce discrimination, stigma, poverty and injustice faced by people with HIV.
We also take this opportunity to highlight some of HALCO’s work in recent years. Over the past five years, HALCO staff have handled almost 20,000 legal issues in diverse areas of law such as income maintenance, tenancy, immigration, human rights, health, privacy, and employment, and conducted over 430 public legal education workshops on diverse areas of law to varied audiences throughout Ontario. In addition, HALCO staff have provided countless legal and policy updates to stakeholders and developed a number of written resources.
In addition, since 2012, HALCO has intervened in over 15 matters at appeal courts, including nine at the Supreme Court of Canada. Interventions have focussed on issues such as:
- criminalization of HIV non-disclosure
- sex work
- drug policy
- autonomy in health care decision-making
- right to housing
- human rights
- prison law
HALCO looks forward to continued work with the HIV community and others to bring about social and economic justice.
For more details about HALCO’s work, please see annual reports, at www.halco.org/about/mission.