Legal Aid is in Crisis: Funding shortfall in BC targeted by new CBABC president

  • September 03, 2019

The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) announces Kenneth ("Ken") Armstrong as its new President for the 2019-20 term.

Ken is a 25-year member of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and is dedicated to improving access to justice, including advocating for increased government investment in legal aid. “Legal aid funding is in a state of crisis, particularly in BC,” he said. “Ordinary, working British Columbians who are facing life-altering legal issues, such as separation and divorce, are being denied legal advice.”

“In addition to being simply unfair, inadequate funding of legal aid means cases take longer to conclude, increasing costs in the court system and leaving less for legal aid investment,” added the new BC branch president. “The less the BC government invests in legal aid, the more we’ll see issues in the courtroom spiral out into our communities, placing extra costs on social services and healthcare in our province.”

Ken has volunteered for many years on CBA national and branch committees focused on legal aid and government relations. He also served over 20 years on CBABC Provincial Council, several terms on the CBABC Executive Committee, and as co-chair of the 2005 Canadian Legal Conference in Vancouver. In 2004-05, Ken was President of the New Westminster Bar Association.

Ken believes in the CBA’s ability to bring people together from across the entire legal sector. “We are a large community made of different groups within the legal profession, the sum of which is so much greater than its parts. CBABC provides its members with the opportunity to connect with colleagues all over BC and Canada, bringing lawyers a sense of professional satisfaction and wellness,” he said.

Ken Armstrong has practiced motor vehicle accident litigation since 1997, with a focus on defending insurance claims. He joined Armstrong Naish Trial Lawyers (formerly Stewart & Company) in 2008, became a partner in 2014 and has been Managing Partner since 2016.

In addition to his professional work, Ken is a long-time volunteer in youth sports with more than two decades as a soccer and Little League baseball coach. He is also an accomplished umpire with two World Series appearances: Little League Softball (2015) and Senior League Baseball (2016), and he was named to the Little League BC Honour Roll in 2008.

Ken Armstrong graduated with a Bachelor of Law from University of Alberta and was called to the bar in BC in 1996. He received the CBABC President’s Medal in 2004 and CBABC Presidential Citation in 2008.

The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 38,000 lawyers, judges and law students across Canada with over 7,000 members in British Columbia.

To learn more about legal aid, please see An Agenda for Justice.

To book an interview, please contact:
Kent Hurl | 604.646.7868