Statement of the Law Union of British Columbia in Support of the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers Job Action
The Law Union of British Columbia proudly endorses the decision of the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers to go on strike with respect to legal aid files starting April 1st, until substantial action is taken to address the longstanding crisis of legal aid funding in our province.
The fight for legal aid is a fight for the rights of all British Columbians to have adequate access to quality legal counsel when their basic rights and freedoms are at stake. In particular, poor and working people mostly find themselves interacting with the legal system when they are at their most vulnerable — when they are accused of crimes; when their parenting rights are in jeopardy; when they are seeking government protection from abusive spouses, employers, or foreign governments; or when they are seeking redress for harms committed against them by others. If people whose fundamental rights and freedoms are under threat do not have access to the advice of knowledgeable, professional advocates, ethically bound to work solely in their clients’ interests, then our legal system fails to provide justice. This is an access to justice crisis.