BC is slashing legal aid services.
Here is the media release from the Legal Services Society. They stress they are at arm's length from the government, an independent society mandated to provide legal aid to British Columbians. Trouble is they are embarking on further cutbacks.
The Legal Services Society is closing regional offices, replacing them with a local lawyer who will act as an agent. If you can't reach the Lawyer, you can always call the legal aid helpline and supposedly you will be put in touch with a lawyer at a convenient time. Perhaps that convenient time will be just before you are to head into court, five minutes will be ample for them to counsel you to plead guilty and take a light sentence so you don't inconvenience your lawyer who is far too busy with other clients, five minutes at a time.
Not only are offices and staff (some 58 staff) being closed and laid off, but the legal aid LAWLine that provided Civil law advice is being shut down, just after the Ides of March, 2010.
This is happening just as another province is introducing a new service to support middle income citizens. Manitoba sees that the poor need legal aid and the rich can right cheques for lawyers. Those in between need help. BC on the other hand says, "Stupid, hide your money or get rich."
If it were so simple.