I had to go back. I just meant that once you're hired here it doesn't say on your business card that you're only on a one year contract. All of our new hires - I don't know if they're permanent or on contract. There's not some big distinction, or class difference, between people on contract and those of us who are full-time.
ACPS's use of contracts is different from what I've hard from Ontario. There (apparently) they use a series of short-term contracts, like three months. Here you'd typically be given a one year contract.
I can only think of one person in the last number of years who left the office because their contract expired. I don't know how long it typically takes someone to go from a contract to full time employment. And when it comes to job security you're still on probation for your first year anyways, so you could be let go within that first year even if you were full time.
I caution not to make comparisons between hire back rates in Toronto and Ottawa. The rates are far higher in Toronto (with many firms hiring back close to 100%).
In my brief experience in the Ottawa market (and from observation only) I'd say the Ottawa hire back rate for lawyers was around 60-70%. Hire back rate for articles is about 100%.