CBABC applauds family law legal aid expansion and recognizes gaps still remain

  • February 15, 2024

The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch celebrates today’s announcement of a $29.1 million investment to improve legal aid services for survivors of intimate partner violence and hopes to see more to support British Columbians with common legal issues such as child support or parenting agreements.  

CBABC has pushed the B.C. government for more investment in family law legal aid for decades, and the CBA intervened in the case arguing that the Centre for Family Equity (formerly Single Mothers’ Alliance) met the test for public interest standing in 2022.  

“More investment to help British Columbians fleeing violent relationships navigate the legal system is an important step in the right direction” says Scott Morishita, CBABC President 2023/24. “There is still a gap to be filled. British Columbia is the only province in Canada without legal aid for routine family law matters like helping parents secure child support, divide debts and property fairly, and negotiate parenting agreements after a painful separation.” 

“Barriers to accessing legal aid in B.C. are very real. The announcement today is positive and yet more needs to be done,” Morishita shares. “Low-income British Columbians receive legal aid if they are accused of a crime, have an immigration claim or need a restraining order because of intimate partner violence. But not if the issue is about income support to put food on your child’s table.”  

Last June, at the Budget 2024 Consultations, CBABC made the case for why government needs to do more to help low-income British Columbians with their family law cases and were pleased to see this recommendation reflected in the Select Standing Committee’s follow-up report. We await the Provincial Budget next week to see the results. 

To arrange an interview, contact: 
Melissa Shaw | 604.687.5293 |

Additional Information
Ministry of Attorney General: $29 million legal aid expansion for people experiencing family violence
Centre for Family Equity: Legal aid significantly expanded for people experiencing family violence
Vancouver is Awesome: B.C. funds $29M for family violence legal aid
CBA National Magazine: BC reaches settlement on legal aid for people suffering domestic violence