British Columbia

B.C. legal aid funding boosted by $2M

B.C.'s legal aid system is getting a $2-million injection, primarily to help fund child custody cases

The B.C. government is increasing legal aid funding by more than $2 million a year.

The money will be aimed at helping parents with emergency child custody issues or those who have children in government care.

The additional funds were found by making administrative changes and will bring total annual spending on legal aid to $68.6 million, Attorney General Shirley Bond said Friday.

Bond said the government will continue to look for more resources and efficiencies in the justice system.

The announcement comes a month after the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. launched a campaign demanding the government increase legal aid funding, which it said has been cut in half over the last 20 years.

To protest the state of legal aid, the trial lawyers are planning to withdraw all duty counsel services during week-long protests set for January, February and March, followed by a month-long refusal of legal aid work in April.