The Trial Lawyers Association of BC announced that Phase 2 of the duty counsel [legal aid lawyer] withdrawal is now in effect until February 14th. The withdrawals are being made to raise awareness about insufficient legal aid funding in BC.
“Approximately two-thirds of BC’s provincial courthouses will be impacted by a full withdrawal of duty counsel, while other courthouses will operate with limited availability. The full withdrawal involves 53 courthouses, up from 38 during the initial withdrawal phase (carried out from January 1-7).”
The third phase will take place March 1-21; and the final phase will see duty counsel withdraw their services for the entire month of April.
These service withdrawals are part of The Battle for Legal Aid, and aim to “get government to inject about $50 million more in funding to legal aid to bring it to 1990s levels.”