VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2013) - The Canadian Bar Association BC Branch (CBABC), responding to the provincial budget released today, expressed disappointment that the government has ignored clear messages from those within and outside of the justice system that there is a critical need for increased financial support for legal aid and the justice system as a whole.
"After years of acknowledging a crisis in the access to the justice system in this province, the government continues to respond with a budget that denies additional financial assistance to those who need it most," stated Kerry Simmons, president of the CBABC. "Access to Justice in BC has deteriorated to the point that our province is an embarrassing 10th out of 13 provinces and territories on legal aid funding spending per capita."
"What needs to happen is that the province must invest in the services that deliver justice to British Columbians, the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch will continue to advocate for restoration of funding for justice on behalf of families, communities and business in British Columbia," added Simmons.
Earlier this month, in a document called An Agenda for Justice, the CBABC proposed almost two dozen no-cost and low-cost legislative law reforms designed to make life better for families, businesses, communities and the public. This platform document encourages the citizens of BC, and all the candidates running in spring election, to be part of the solution to solving the problems in our justice system. An Agenda for Justice is available online at www.cba.org/bc.
The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 38,000 lawyers, judges and law students in Canada, including 6,800 members in British Columbia.