The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) is pleased the BC government intends to partner with the Law Foundation of BC to establish or expand community advocacy programs. However, CBABC is clear in its continued call for additional necessary funding of legal aid services through the Legal Services Society of BC.
“We are disappointed that today’s budget announcement, Making Life Better, overlooks additional funding for legal aid,” said Margaret A. Mereigh, CBABC President. “There are real families all over the province desperate for this public service, but they don’t have access due to lack of government investment. We will continue working toward a level of legal aid funding that ensures qualifying British Columbians can actually access it. We will also keep advocating to modernize the tariff rate used to pay legal aid lawyers,” she added.
Indigenous justice issues remain a concern in British Columbia. As such, CBABC looks forward to learning more about the government’s Indigenous Justice Strategy. Funding is needed to train all court staff in cultural competency, and for adequate investment in the production of Gladue reports regarding the sentencing of Indigenous offenders.
An overview of CBABC advocacy is in a series of platform papers entitled An Agenda for Justice, at CBABC.org/A4J.
CBABC President, Margaret A. Mereigh, is available for interviews on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 from 9:00am to 12:00pm PT. Please use contact information below to make arrangements.
More details on BC Budget 2019 are available here.
The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 38,000 lawyers, judges and law students across Canada with nearly 7,000 members in British Columbia.
Member Communications Officer