“This report echoes what the BCGEU has been saying for a long time, and that is, there needs to be more funding and staffing for both legal aid and court services in B.C.” – Stephanie Smith, President BCGEU
Vancouver (24 Feb. 2017) — The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) commends the work of the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch, for its recently released report, An Agenda for Justice.
The report outlines serious issues facing B.C.’s legal system and makes numerous recommendations to improve services.
Action needed on a wide range of issues
The recommendations supported by the BCGEU/NUPGE include
- Increased funding for legal aid in family law
- Increased funding for staffing of the Court Services Branch
- Increased funding for B.C.’s Family Justice Centres to increase staff training and boost the number of trained mediators and family justice counsellors
- Provide culturally diverse and appropriate programming in prisons, particularly for Indigenous Peoples
- Commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of indigenous people and youth in custody over the next decade
- Expand the First Nations Court program
Report reflects concerns expressed by frontline staff
“This report echoes what the BCGEU/NUPGE has been saying for a long time, and that is there needs to be more funding and staffing for both legal aid and court services in B.C.,” said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. “Our members tell us their workplaces are under-resourced. They’re often interacting with people in crisis and inadequate funding has made doing their difficult jobs even more challenging.”
The BCGEU/NUPGE represents thousands of members for the Legal Services Society and the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, plus Native court workers and sheriffs.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE