13 October 2011

CBABC Launches Legal Aid Campaign

The Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia branch has this morning launched a campaign (PDF) to pressure the provincial government to restore funding to legal aid. The newly-minted We Need Legal Aid website reviews some of the problems resulting from the cuts to legal aid and aims to build public support for the restoration of funding though social media.

The CBABC's effort follows up on the March 2011 release of the final report (PDF) of the Public Commission on Legal Aid, a joint project of the CBABC, the Law Society of British Columbia, the Law Foundation and other groups.

Legal aid in British Columbia is administered by the Legal Services Society, a non-profit organization funded primarily by the provincial government. The government began to implement a far-reaching series of budget cuts beginning in 2001 which have had a profound effect on the society's family law legal services (PDF), to the point where legal representation is only available where there is a safety risk, a denial of contact with a child or a risk that a child will be taken out of the province.

Please, read the commission's final report and take the time to visit the We Need Legal Aid website and get involved in the campaign.

Click on the "Legal Aid" label below for more information about the travails and tribulations of LSS over the last few years.