The Manitoba Law Foundation’s Board of Directors recently met to allocate and approve the Foundation’s statutory and discretionary grants for the 2018/2019 fiscal year. The Legal Profession Act provides in s.90(1) that the Foundation allocate specific portions of interest on lawyers’ trust accounts received in the previous fiscal year to The Legal Aid Society of Manitoba (50% or a minimum of $1,007,629) and The Law Society of Manitoba (16.67% or a minimum of $335,383) for its educational purposes and to offset the cost of monitoring trust accounts.
Due in large part to increases in the prime rate in 2017, Foundation revenues for the year ending March 31, 2018 were significantly higher than has been the case in recent years. Based upon that income, the Foundation was able to allocate statutory grants for 2018/2019 as follows:
The Legal Aid Services Society of Manitoba $1,607,151
The Law Society of Manitoba $535,824
In addition to the required grants paid under the provisions of the Act, the Foundation also makes discretionary grants under s.90(4) and in accordance with the objects of the Foundation. These grants are allocated from the surplus at the end of the previous fiscal year after the deduction of operating expenses, mandatory grants, and, in years when revenues are sufficient and where the Reserve requires it, a contribution to the Foundation’s Reserve for Future Grants.
For 2018/2019, the Foundation’s board approved 12 discretionary grants totaling $851,666 to:
Community Legal Education Association (General) $50,000
CLEA (Law Phone-In and Lawyer Referral Service) $60,000
Community Unemployed Help Centre $20,000
E.K. Williams Library (Faculty of Law) $82,000
Faculty of Law Sessional Instructor Program $95,166
Legal Help Centre of Winnipeg $80,000
Legal Research Institute (Faculty of Law) $80,000
Manitoba Law Reform Commission $92,500
Native Law Centre (University of Saskatchewan) $12,000
Pro Bono Students Canada (Manitoba Chapter) $14,000
Public Interest Law Centre (Legal Aid Manitoba) $180,000
University Law Centre (Legal Aid Manitoba) $86,000
In addition, the Foundation has approved two Small Grant Applications. Dr. Michael Weinrath of University of Winnipeg’s Criminal Justice Department was awarded a grant of $4,986 for the Winnipeg Police Diversion Research Project. Level was awarded a grant of $7,100 for delivery of their Indigenous Youth Outreach Program in Manitoba.
Through these direct grants into the community, The Manitoba Law Foundation is able to fulfill its mission of advancing legal knowledge, fostering excellence within the legal profession and facilitating community understanding of the justice system.