B.C. allocates more than $8 million to boost legal-aid services

B.C. allocates more than $8 million to boost legal-aid services
Province of BC

The provincial government is investing another $8.19 million in legal aid in British Columbia, filling what it says are gaps in service.

The Ministry of the Attorney General announced the funding follows an analysis of the legal-aid system between December 2019 and June 2021 by the ministry, Legal Aid BC and the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers.

The money was announced in Budget 2022, and much of the funding, $7.47 million, is an increase to the budget for Legal Aid BC to support lawyers delivering legal help in the province.

It says $3.55 million of that funding will be used to ensure junior counsel are assigned in all murder and manslaughter cases, to provide a certain number of hours for expert witnesses in criminal cases and to support families trying to navigate the court system.

The funding will also be used to add to the criminal early resolution contract, providing legal help to more clients whose cases weren’t able to be resolved outside the courts.

The remaining $730,000 will go to the Society for Children and Youth to expand a legal clinic and meet the growing demand for legal services for children and youth.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2022.


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