THE Government of British Columbia announced on Wednesday that additional short-term funding from the federal government will ensure refugees in B.C. can continue to access legal aid.
The funding will allow the province’s Legal Services Society (LSS) to maintain services for immigrants and refugees in need of legal aid through the middle of November 2017.
“Legal aid and equal access to justice for all in British Columbia is a top priority for me and for Premier John Horgan,” said Attorney General David Eby. “We appreciate the work of Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould who secured additional short-term federal funding which provides a solution at least until the fall. I will be monitoring this file very closely in the weeks ahead.”
Sustained federal support for provincial legal aid programs for refugees will be one of the topics for discussion at the upcoming meeting of federal, provincial and territorial justice and public safety ministers that B.C. will host in September.
- Immigration and refugee legal aid is federally funded, and immigration processes and rules are federally controlled.
- This year, LSS had an original budget of $1.7 million for immigration and refugee services. Of that total, $900,000 is from the federal government and $800,000 from the Province of British Columbia.