VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is hoping BC politicians focus on improving the province’s justice system during the upcoming spring election campaign.
BC branch president Michael Welsh says people need better access to justice, including more money for legal aid coverage and court staff so everyone can have access to a lawyer and timely trial. They would also like to see more training for restorative justice and indigenous issues.
“A huge percentage of our population has contact with the court system if people have unresolved legal issues, it can affect their livelihoods, so we need to look on a larger scale,” he says.
He adds laws need to be added in some cases and updated in others, like changing the motor vehicle act to better protect cyclists, and increasing consumer fairness.
“We’re hopeful that we’re going to see some attention brought back to this area, because justice issues are really social issues… they affect people’s lives.”
The government has signalled that they are running a budget surplus, and Welsh is hopeful some of those extra funds will find their way to the justice system.
He admits however it will be a balancing act, since some of the changes the CBA is requesting will require many more tax dollars.