The effect of these cuts will be devastating for low-income people, particularly women and their children, who will be unable to access the justice system.
The most recent round of cuts include:
- closing of five regional centres in Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George, Victoria and Surrey and the legal aid portion of the Justice Access Centre in Nanaimo -- only the Terrace regional centre and the Vancouver office will remain open;
- total layoffs: 58 (44 BCGEU members);
- cuts to tariffs for family, immigration and criminal law;
- stricter screening processes and eligibility requirements for clients;
- closing of the family law clinic;
- reductions in staff lawyers;
- reductions in services for people who cannot access legal representation through LSS, including cuts to the staffing of the LawLINE, Community Advocate Support Line, and family and other duty counsel.