Some things just need to be said...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Need a Lawyer, Please hold in BC ONLY

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.

1 comment:

Pale said...

A few years back, Gordie and co cut Legal Aid.
They made it so that there are three criteria to get Legal aid at all..

They are:
1) You are facing Jail time.
2) You need help getting a restraining order enforced.
3) The Province takes your kids away.

In the interim the courts have backed up because people are representing themselves and Judges have had to help many people by walking them through a process that has been made confusing to make money for lawyers.

Women have lost their kids, or are living in hiding.
Many people have simply given up on justice. That is for the rich folks.
How do I know this? Guess. :)
I got caught in all of this.
So, the final nail in the coffin is here.
One also has to remember that there is a tax on all legal fees that is supposed to pay for legal aid? But it seems to always find it's way into that slush fund called general revenue.