Advocacy in Action | April 2023


April 2023

CBABC is committed to promoting access to justice, protecting the rule of law and advocating on behalf of the legal profession. In recent months, CBABC has spoken out on a number of pressing matters reflecting policy positions developed by our members in all areas of the province across Committees and Sections.


Following the release of BC Budget 2023, CBABC acknowledged the provincial government’s commitment to funding 15 Indigenous Justice Centres as proposed in the First Nations Justice Strategy. CBABC has called for funding to support the Strategy’s implementation since its establishment in 2020 to address the over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, there remain critical gaps in funding for justice issues in this year’s budget. Many people in B.C. are impacted by higher costs of living and need important upgrades to the systems and institutions meant to help them. Legal aid funding for B.C.’s most vulnerable and digital access to legal services remain at the forefront of CBABC’s advocacy to ensure that all British Columbians have access to a justice system that is fair, affordable, and effective.


In February, we delivered a submission encouraging B.C. tribunals to improve their collection and use of user-centered data across the province. We are pleased that the Chair of the Circle of BC Administrative Tribunals has responded to invite further engagement.

Our efforts to transform the court system also persist, following the government’s positive response to our recommendation that the Court Services Branch and the courts develop and implement court user surveys. We are currently working with the Ministry and courts to support changes that serve public interest and integrate users’ views.


CBABC continues to advocate for government to safeguard lawyers’ self-regulation and independence, and to facilitate full and transparent discussion regarding any legislative changes that impact lawyers and the people they serve.

We recently wrote to the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General expressing deep concern over unilateral action in the face of an ongoing process regarding Bill 5, Public Service Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2023. We urged the province to reconsider proceeding with Bill 5 and instead allow the BC Government Lawyers Association’s (BCGLA) application for certification to continue.

Should such policy change be a priority, CBABC called for the government — before advancing legislation — to respectfully engage with its employees and allow appropriate time for fulsome discussion.

Fortunately, the government paused the legislation from proceeding in order to have conversations with the BCGLA about the way forward.