BC Liberals Attempt to Boost Votes by Misleading Women about Legal ServicesWednesday, July 28 2010
February 1, 2005: The BC Coalition of Women's Centres wants to set the record straight. Today's announcement by the BC Liberals of 4.6 million going into legal services represents less than 12% of what they have already cut since taking office. The fact is that the BC Liberals cut 40% of the legal services budget for a total of 34 million. This announcement is about boosting votes not services.
While increased legal aid funding is essential in BC, this announcement is designed to mislead women into believing that help will be there when they need it.
Further, it does nothing but add insult to injury with respect to the damage already done.
Women's Centres see women on a daily basis who are denied Legal aid in Family or Poverty law due to funding cuts. The most significant of the family law legal aid cut is that women are being forced to represent themselves in court. Today's announcement does nothing to address the real need that women have- to have a legal aid lawyer.
The BC Liberals have further misrepresented the services provided - not all cases involving spousal abuse are covered.
The impact of the 34 million cut from legal services has lasting and irrevocable implications for women and their children. A person's ability to pay should not impact the level of justice they have access to. Forcing women to represent themselves in court is not just and not acceptable.
Until justice is restored in BC, meaning fully funding legal aid, providing community law offices and community advocates women continue to be shafted by the BC Liberals and a system not sensitive to their needs.
The BC Coalition calls on the BC Liberals to fully restore funding and access to legal aid. To stop the ruse of attempting to buy votes with pre-election announcements that do nothing to repair the damage they have done to women in BC.
BC Coalition of Women's Centres
www.bcwomen.cjb.net | firstname.lastname@example.org
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