Accountability for Access to Justice

  • February 21, 2004

WHEREAS the CBA has urged the federal government to establish an Access to Justice Transfer, which would separate its contribution for civil legal aid from a block transfer to the provincial and territorial governments that does not require them to use the money for civil legal aid, nor require them to allocate any funding for civil legal aid;

WHEREAS immediate improvements to civil legal aid are required to address a crisis in meaningful access to justice for disadvantaged Canadians, including women and children, aboriginals, minorities, people with disabilities and refugees;

WHEREAS civil legal aid gives access to fundamental protections in regard to custody and support, housing, income, refugee matters and deportation;

WHEREAS these legal protections are increasingly limited, and in some regions non-existent, for low and middle income persons;

WHEREAS no level of government or single government department takes responsibility when lower income Canadians cannot access fundamental protections under the law;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the CBA urge the federal government:

  • to designate a Minister responsible for access to justice on civil legal aid matters; and
  • to offer new funds for civil legal aid to provincial and territorial governments prepared to match those funds and collaborate with the federal Minister to ensure access to justice.

Certified true copy of a resolution carried by the Council of the Canadian Bar Association at the Mid-Winter Meeting held in Whitehorse, YT February 20-22, 2004.

John D.V. Hoyles

Executive Director/Directeur exécutif