Free legal advice clinic in Centennial Square services those falling through the cracks

A free legal advice clinic was held Friday at Centennial Square. The pro bono event was arranged by the Access Pro Bono Society of BC. 

Jamie Maclaren, Founding Executive Director, says access to justice is in crisis in this province, with low and middle income people falling through the cracks:

" It's a real problem. Sometimes, you know, we advise people on how to resist an unlawful eviction. It can be the difference between being homeless or having a roof over their heads.  So it ranges from very critical legal needs, to more mundane legal needs. But it's always important."

Maclaren says pro bono lawyers deal in all areas of the law: criminal, immigration, family and civil matters, and are seeing more and more family matters dealing with custody disputes or divorces, and more and more residential tenancy matters where renters are feeling the pressure of increased rents and evictions.

He is hoping things will improve with a new NDP government in place, and that they will invest in legal aid after the previous Liberal government cut funds. Access Pro Bono helps about 20,000 people a year, which Maclaren says is a fraction of those who can't afford legal help.

There is a telephone clinic coming up next Tuesday 4 - 6pm . You have to make an appointment.  Go to Advice-A-Thon.ca for more information.

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