Access to Justice Transfer

  • August 16, 2003

WHEREAS the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) cautioned the federal government not to include funding for civil legal aid in the global Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST), arguing that civil legal aid would lose out when competing for funds with health and education;

WHEREAS the CBA’s cautions have proved well founded, and civil legal aid funding has been severely cut in many parts of Canada since the introduction of the CHST in 1996;

WHEREAS cuts are now so severe that many people in Canada do not have access to justice, even for serious legal problems;

WHEREAS those denied access to justice are predominantly among Canada’s most vulnerable populations, including women, children, minorities, aboriginals, and people with disabilities;

WHEREAS since 1996, the CBA has urged the federal government to “carve” civil legal aid out of the CHST to safeguard that funding and enhance transparency and accountability;

WHEREAS the Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada recommended that funding for health care be removed from the CHST, and that a Canada Health Transfer be created;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Bar Association urge the federal government to provide adequate funding for civil legal aid by creating a new, dedicated Canada Access to Justice Transfer.

Certified true copy of a resolution carried by the Council of the Canadian Bar Association at the Annual Meeting held in Montreal, QC August 16-17, 2003.

John D.V. Hoyles

Executive Director/Directeur exécutif