BC legal coalition launches commision on legal aid cuts

A coalition of legal justice organizations have launched a Public Commission on Legal Aid due to concerns over legal aid cuts in BC. The commission will hold hearings across BC to engage the public on legal aid in BC in September 2010. The results of the hearings will be submitted as recommendations to the government.

The president of the Canadian Bar Association - British Columbia Branch, James Bond, notes several reasons behind the formation of the Public Commission. “There are simply not sufficient legal aid services available for British Columbians who need them. Funding which was cut several years ago has never been restored, and government funding has largely remained static in recent years. In addition, economic factors have had an adverse effect on other funding sources, while demand for legal aid services has increased."

Last year the Legal Services Society announced cuts that resulted in the closure of five regional offices, cuts to legal advocacy organizations, no funding of poverty law, the closing of the LawLine and more.