Legal aid money won't solve problems: Nick Avis
Commission chair says government money won't stretch far enough
The head of Newfoundland and Labrador's Legal Aid Commission says the money announced by the provincial government on Monday will do little to solve the chronic problems.
Justice Minister Darin King announced $7.1 million to help reverse some of the cuts made to legal aid in the budget cuts in 2013.
Three new lawyers will be hired to replace the three that were cut.
Nick Avis, chair of legal aid, said the group has been underfunded, and this money won't help fix chronic problems like long wait times.
Avis said the problem experience by legal aid in the province have consequences.
"I think it undermines the confidence in us and the system. It results in matters not proceeding as quickly as they should," he said.
According to Avis, the money committed on Monday won't do anything to fix the big service gaps in Labrador.
"What's needed there is an enormous amount of money, not small sums. Something big has to happen there, and I think it hopefully has to happen soon," Avis said.
Still not good enough
"We know that the cuts that were made last year were such disorganized, knee-jerk reactions to a fiscal reality, rather than looking at the specific needs of our justice system," Rogers said.
"We know that justice is becoming more and more out of reach for people financially, and there's been nothing said here today that indicates that this government has addressed the issue of the fact that people cannot afford justice."
Rogers said King admitted that the cuts made last year were not in the best interests of the justice system, but wonders why he hasn't reversed all of those cuts.
"I am really concerned, once again, that there is nothing to address the fact that they cut the family violence intervention court, which was such an important court for the people of the province."