More legal aid cuts announced in BC

The Legal Services Society has announced that they will be closing five legal aid offices in towns across BC and laying off 58 staff members. This is the second time this year LSS has announced service cuts. In January, due to a significant increase in demand for legal aid, a decrease in non-government funding and no increase in government funding, LSS laid off staff and cut back on services including the LAWLine and other advocacy services for low income people.

According to Access to Justice, the cuts that were announced earlier today will result in the elimination of nearly all community resources offered by the Legal Services Society outside the Lower Mainland. As a result, legal aid will become much harder to access in every region of the province.

“Essentially, the Legal Services Society is saying that low-income families, single mothers, and the elderly don’t deserve representation” says Jodi Jensen, Executive Director for the Professional Employees Association, the union representing lawyers working for the Legal Services Society.

More Information

"Legal Aid Changes Planned for 2010" - November 2, 2009, LSS

"Legal services funding cuts mean reduced staff" - November 4, 2009, The Nanaimo Daily News