History

A little “HALCO History”

The HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (HALCO) was founded in 1995, and began operating as a full service legal clinic in December of that year.  HALCO was established in partnership with the AIDS Committee of Toronto and the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.

From 1991 to 1994, we operated on a project basis through the then ARCH Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped (ARCH is now called the ARCH Disability Law Centre).

HALCO is an independent registered charity funded by Legal Aid Ontario, the AIDS Bureau of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and other sources including corporate, foundation and individual donors.

HALCO is governed by a nine-member volunteer Board of Directors, elected from and by our members. Board members’ terms are for two years (maximum of three consecutive two-year terms). The majority of our Board members must be living with HIV.  For information about our current Board members, please see our Board of Directors page.  For more information about getting involved, including our Board and Committees, please see our Get Involved section.

We started with a staff of three in 1995, but we now have ten staff: our Executive Director (who is a lawyer), six staff lawyers, a Community Legal Worker, an Office Manager and an Administrative Assistant.  As well, we have a full-time articling (law) student each year and law student volunteers.  Please see our Staff page for a list of our current staff.

Since 1995, the demand for our services has continued to grow. In recent years, requests for service have been increasing dramatically. In the year August 1, 2014, to July 31, 2015, we:

  • handled more than 3,700 requests for legal services,
  • opened 181 case files,
  • 0pened 198 public legal education files.  Over 70 of the files related to in-person workshops and presentations.

We also engage in law reform, public legal education and community development initiatives.  Please see Our Services page for more information about HALCO services. Please see our Contact Us page for information about contacting HALCO.