Media Release: The PEA supports Association of Legal Aid Lawyers Strike Vote
Publish date: Thursday, March 14, 2019
Victoria, British Columbia: The Professional Employees Association (PEA) supports the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers (ALL) and their strike vote.
“We stand with the Association of Legal Aid Lawyers who are taking action to restore funding for legal aid in BC,” said Scott McCannell, Executive Director of the PEA.
The PEA represents staff lawyers who work at the Legal Services Society and have faced decades of underfunding. “In the early 2000’s we had five times as many members,” said Scott McCannell, Executive Director of the PEA. “The last government decimated legal aid in this province.”
“We appreciate the current government’s efforts to take some steps forward in restoring legal aid; however the positive strike vote by ALL sends a strong message that it’s time to take bold steps in increasing funding for legal aid in this province,” said McCannell.
In 2002 the BC Government cut legal aid resulting in the closure of 60 legal aid offices and the reduction of staff lawyers jobs at the Legal Services Society by 79%. At the lowest count, there were only six PEA staff lawyers providing legal aid in BC. Numbers have increased, but not to the levels they were before the previous government slashed jobs.
A recent review of legal aid in BC, Roads to Revival, recommended changes to the way BC delivers legal aid.
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Scott McCannell, Executive Director
250-385-8791 ext 203
Brett Harper, Senior Communications and Member Development Officer
250-385-8791 ext 206