The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch applauds the significant financial commitments made in BC Budget 2021 to support the evolution of a modernized justice system and meaningful change for Indigenous peoples.
“We are pleased that today’s budget announcement directs critical funding to the modernization of our justice system, including virtualization of our courts and electronic filing solutions, along with investment in providing reliable, high-speed broadband services to rural, remote and Indigenous communities. These investments will have a direct impact on increasing access to justice for all British Columbians,” said Jennifer J.L. Brun, CBABC President.
“Although BC Budget 2021 includes funding for family dispute resolution, legal clinics, and parent legal centres, we are disappointed that legal aid funding for contested family law matters is not addressed. This leaves some of BC’s most vulnerable families unable to access legal representation during these very difficult times,” Brun added.
“Further, we are concerned that the budget does not include funding to ensure involuntary detainees under the Mental Health Act have access to independent legal representation. This is a glaring omission, particularly in light of Government’s focus on mental health services during the pandemic.”
Meaningful change for Indigenous peoples is one of four main themes in CBABC’s recent advocacy report, Agenda for Justice 2021, and figures prominently in BC Budget 2021.
“We commend the Government’s commitment to implementing DRIPA through engaging Indigenous peoples on legislation, policy and programs,” said President Brun. “We look forward to collaborating with Government and other stakeholders on these significant and meaningful initiatives.”
More information about CBABC advocacy through Agenda for Justice 2021 can be found at CBABC.org/A4J. More details on BC Budget 2021 are available here.
The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 36,000 lawyers, judges and law students across Canada with over 7,200 members in British Columbia. CBABC members practice at the forefront of the justice system, providing services to British Columbians in every area of law.
To arrange an interview with CBABC President, Jennifer J.L. Brun, please contact:
Eileen Huster, Communications & Marketing Specialist