Government making empty promises about legal aid

Mike Schreiner released the following statement after news of full-time job cuts to Legal Aid:

“It is misleading for the government to tell vulnerable people in need of legal representation that they can simply call the Premier or the Attorney General after the funding cuts to Legal Aid.

This is not how government works. Neither the Premier’s Office nor the Attorney General’s office has the scope to replace the services provided by this chronically underfunded agency.

Whether it’s legal aid or flood relief, the Premier must stop acting as if Dial-a-Premier is the most sustainable or responsible way to lead a province.

Legal Aid is being forced to cut full-time jobs, impose a funding freeze and halt one-time projects. This is in addition to funding restrictions that prevent Legal Aid from helping immigrants and refugees.

Depriving low-income people of access to justice only worsens the disparity between those who can afford to stand up for their rights and those who cannot.

The Premier and the Attorney General must be upfront about the true impact of their cuts to legal support instead of pretending as if they will not impact the lives of low-income groups.”