Legal Aid strike threat

B.C.'s Legal Aid Lawyers are demanding better funding for legal aid by the middle of next week, or they will take a strike vote.

The Association's members provide services to B.C.'s most vulnerable citizens.

The Association says the provincial government's shrinking legal aid budget doesn't come close to meeting the need, with this province ranking 10th out of 12 provinces and territories in per capita legal aid funding.

In 1992/1993 spending on legal aid was $25.22 per capita. Today it's at $14.99 -- a 60% decrease. To keep up with inflation that number should now be at $39.72.

As well the Association says Legal Aid lawyers have had just one pay raise in 28 years; there are more restrictions on who can qualify for legal aid services;and  the numbers of legal aid lawyers is on the decline -- down a third from '92-'93.

The organization says if there is no appropriate increase as of March 13th  members could be on strike by April 1st following a strike vote.


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