Common Questions 2016 Update

What are Common Questions (CQs)?

Clicklaw links to so many great resources, which can make it difficult to decide which one to read first. Clicklaw’s Common Questions are like an extended legal FAQ. They help narrow down the resources people should start with. We are currently working on reviewing and updating our 160 questions.

An example of a Common Question:

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In the last 30 days, these 5 CQs received over 4000 views:

Some of our new or updated questions are:

  • Can I get a legal order to keep an abuser away from me? Updated: Effective December 5, 2016, the Ministry of Justice will coordinate the service of protection orders under the Family Law Act, when the order is issued without the respondent (i.e. abuser) in court. This is to ensure that someone’s (your) inability to hire a process server does not hinder service.
  • I think I was sexually harassed. What can I do? This common question directs you to information resources, as well as to the BC Human Rights Clinic that can provide help to resolve your issue.
  • What does the new Societies Act require? The new Societies Act is in force as of November 28, 2016. Pre-existing societies have a two-year transition period to come into compliance with the new act. There are numerous helpful resources and services to help you transition.
  • Is marijuana legal in BC? Not for recreational use. Possession of marijuana is a criminal offense across Canada, under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. This common question explains the exceptions, and has information on the Canadian government’s Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation.

Do you have an idea for a Common Question?

Do you get asked the same questions over and over again by your clients? Send your suggestions to: editor[@]clicklaw.bc.ca

Stay informed:

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Dec. 2016 – Events (Vancouver, Victoria, Burnaby)

Bookmark this post! It will be updated as more events are announced. You can also get frequent updates via our Twitter. Have a suggestion? Email us.

  • Thursday, December 1 (10:00-11:30am): Nidus is hosting an event at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1440 W. 12th Ave (at Hemlock), 2nd floor, Vancouver, to wrap up Personal Planning Month. The Essentials of a Basic Plan for Your Future: What are the key legal documents in BC to plan for incapacity, end-of- life and after death? Who gets copies and where do you register your plans so they are available when needed?
    • This presentation will provide an overview of Representation Agreements, Enduring Powers of Attorney, and Wills. Find out where to get the legal forms and how to register them after they are completed. There will be time for Q & A. Registration is not required.

 

  • Saturday, December 3 (4:00-6:00pm): BCCLA is promoting the Public Town Hall for Consultation on National Security at the SFU Vancouver Morris J. Wosk Conference Centre, 580 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. Participants are logo_bcclaencouraged to register in advance via ps.nsconsultationvancouver-consultationsnvancouver.sp@canada.ca.
    • BCCLA writes: We have an unprecedented opportunity for Canadians to weigh in on the recent radical changes to our national security landscape (eg. “C-51”) and our long-standing deficits in national security transparency and accountability. Now is the time to make our voices heard.

 

  • Monday, December 5 (12:00-1:30pm): Executive Directors Series: Auditing – Lunch and Learn, at the Volunteer Victoria Learning Centre, 306-620 View Street, Victoria. Have you ever wondered about the differences between an audit and financial reporting to funders?
    • The new Societies Act requires all “reporting societies” to appoint an auditor – but what is the role of an auditor; in what ways can an auditor help; and what do you need to know about choosing an auditor. Join Richard Games as he explores the benefits to stakeholders of an audit and answers your questions regarding financial statement audits in this free lunch and learn. Get Tickets here.

 

  • Monday, December 12 (7:00-8:30pm): People’s Law School and Burnaby Public Library are partnering to put on a session about Common-Law Relationships: Learn about your rights and responsibilities before moving in together. After living with someone you can be considered a spouse or common-law partner after a certain amount of time.
    • Join family law lawyer Kevin Quong as he explains laws regarding common-law relationships and how to protect yourself and other family members. This free information session is presented in partnership with People’s Law School. Registration is required and space is limited. Please register online or phone the Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch at 604-436-5400.

Stay informed:

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Societies Act – November 28, 2016

s-act_thumbThe new Societies Act is in force today. It replaces the old Society Act.

Resources for you:

Stay informed:

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New Feature: Last Reviewed Date

Clicklaw has introduced a new feature on its website—both desktop and mobile—which is designed to help you figure out what’s new and updated.

Resource listings now have a last reviewed date, in addition to a produced in year:

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Hovering over the orange “i” icon will tell you what the date means:

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You can also sort results by last reviewed date; listings with the most recent date will show at the top:

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Read more about the last reviewed date on our new page, Tips on Assessing Legal Information.

We are in the process of working with all contributors to ensure the last reviewed dates on their resource listings are updated.

Let us know if you have any feedback: editor@clicklaw.bc.ca

Stay informed:

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Organization of the Month | November 2016

Meet Lillian

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“I am constantly amazed at people’s resilience”

Lillian Wong is an advocate with Disability Alliance BC (DABC) and has been with the organization for 15 years. I had the chance to have a short Q&A with her about her experiences.

How did you come to work for DABC? What made you stay? I was volunteering here when I was completing my Masters of Social Work at UBC – I was the phone receptionist with the Advocacy program. What made me stay on was the organization’s passion for working with the marginalized disability community. DABC is a great organization – it’s teamwork. There’s no ego. There’s no patronizing. Everyone is equal – everyday, everyone looks out for each other’s back and helps each other. It’s cohesive.

Does your organization serve your immediate community (Vancouver) or all of BC? We serve all of BC—my colleagues do workshops everywhere.

Can you briefly explain your work? I help people with disabilities, with income assistance, and provincial disability benefits. Disability applications – or housing applications, RSDPs. Most of them come to our office, and at times I will meet them elsewhere. My specific clientele is homeless and they are financially disadvantaged. The most marginalized in society. We’re non-profit, so it catches people who are falling through the cracks. We take them through the whole process: from the beginning and until they get the results. If we get denials, I’ll refer them to my colleagues who do appeals.

What has surprised you the most about working with DABC? I am constantly amazed at people’s resilience with what they have to cope with, financially and medically.

What do you worry about, and why? I worry that clients will fall through the cracks – the shelter, food, safety, what will happen when they get older with a disability. Aging with a disability, and what will happen to them.

What do you think keeps your clients going? Hope – that there’s something better. I am most excited about the RDSP – and the hope [it gives] to press on. With PWD benefits they are allowed to earn some money and not get penalized. Then they can save up for a future with the RDSP.


What’s new with Disability Alliance BC (DABC)?e150_partner_logos

DABC is launching a new BC-wide program to help people access the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).

The RDSP is a long-term savings plan designed to help Canadians with disabilities at all income levels save for their futures.

DABC plans to help eligible people to apply for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC)—which you need for the RDSP—and connect them to Plan Institute’s RDSP Helpline and Guide or BCANDS, for further help to open an RDSP.

DABC will travel to communities across BC to increase awareness about the program, through workshops and one-on-one clinics.

To learn more and to request a workshop, call Linda at DABC: 604-872-1278; 1-800-663-1278 or email rdsp@disabilityalliancebc.org


About DABC

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Since 1977, Disability Alliance BC has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia.

DABC (formerly known as the BC Coalition of People with Disabilities) was formed in 1977 and has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia since then. To fulfill their mission, they:

  • Provide one-to-one assistance for people with all disabilities;
  • Produce and provide publications free of charge;
  • Design and implement programs and special projects; and
  • Work closely with community partners to promote positive change for people with disabilities.

Their programs include:

Advocacy Access ProgramHelp clients to access provincial and federal disability benefits, health supplements, and other programs such as subsidized housing.  Many clients are homeless or insecurely housed.

Tax AID DABCHelp people receiving provincially funded Persons with Disability (PWD) or Person with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) to file their income taxes.  This service is open all year, and their specialty is helping people file multiple years of taxes.

BC Personal Supports Network: A network of organizations that helps people with disabilities obtain assistive devices.

CARMA: Peer support that promotes a enhanced quality of life and self-determination for George Pearson Centre residents.

PublicationsProduce a range of materials including self-help publications, an e-newsletter, advocates manuals, health guides and their flagship magazine, Transition.

Outreach: Facilitate free on-site legal clinics on disability benefits through community partnerships and also provide information and capacity building workshops.

DABC is led by Executive Director Jane Dyson, who has been with the organization since 1998,  first as an advocate and for the past 8 years as its Executive Director.  In 2015, Jane was awarded the Order of British Columbia for her work in the community.

Stay informed with DABC:

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2016 Bi-monthly Update Series: September-October

In our 2015 year-end update, we promised to provide bimonthly updates to new resources and services added to Clicklaw in those two months. Here is a sample from the changes in September and October:

Jan-Feb | Mar-Apr | May-Jun | Jul-Aug | Sep-Oct | Nov-Dec


connected-car-coverThe Connected Car
by BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

The report outlines how data culled from vehicle telematics and infotainment systems can be used for safety, monitoring, customer relationship management etc. Yet some data harvested from cars can also be used to track and profile customers for marketing and other purposes.

starting-a-small-business-in-bc-coverStarting a Small Business in BC Guide
by BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour

This 2016 edition is an introductory guide to help you with planning, implementing, and developing a small business. It provides essential information you need to know as well as links to additional resources to help ensure that your new business is successful.

cpabc-logoLegal Workshop videos
by Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia

The videos from CPABC’s legal workshops include topics such as workplace discrimination, victims of crime, and rights for youth in transition.

clas-logoBC Judicial Review Self-Help Guide
by Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

Have you received a decision from the BC government or a tribunal (decision maker) that you think is seriously flawed or unfair? After you have gone through all your appeal options within the system, you may be able to ask a judge to review the decision.

CLAS has a guide for people who are representing themselves in a judicial review. We have now updated and modified this guide into a web-based form where users can navigate through the judicial review process for their selected tribunal. This website gives an overview of options that people have, step-by-step information about filing court documents, and templates that people can use when self-representing in Court. The website also allows people to get in touch with CLAS lawyers to ask for information and advice about their situation.

dabc-logoBC Disability Benefits Help Sheets
by Disability Alliance BC

As of September 2016, Disability Alliance BC has fully updated their Help Sheet series to reflect the changes to the PWD benefit, including a rate increase and changes to the BC Bus Pass Program.

emilys-choice-coverEmily’s Choice
by Legal Services Society

Emily’s Choice uses storytelling and images to describe child protection. Co-produced with the Healthy Aboriginal Network, the video and graphic novel tell the story of Emily, who struggles with addiction and an unhealthy relationship. She loves her son, Greg, but can’t always take care of him. When he goes into foster care, she gets legal help and family support to get him back.

The webpage provides links to the video, trailer, online version of the graphic novel, ordering information, who can help, and promotional material.

the-factum-logoThe Factum
by Legal Services Society

The Factum is a Legal Services Society blog about the law in British Columbia and how people can navigate the legal system. While it talks a bit about all aspects of the law, it focuses mainly on how the legal system affects people who can’t afford a lawyer.

Civil Resolution Tribunal- BC’s New Online Tribunal0000crt (Webinar recording)
by Civil Resolution Tribunal and Courthouse Libraries BC

This webinar focused on the recent changes to the strata dispute process brought about in the Civil Resolution Tribunal Amendment Act and served as an introduction to the CRT’s resolution services (including guides, videos and sample document templates) and their Solution Explorer software tool.

 

Stay informed:

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Nov. 2016 – Events (Province-wide, and online)

Bookmark this post! It will be updated as more events are announced for November. You can also get frequent updates via our Twitter account.

  • website-ppm-banner-2016-1024x315November is Personal Planning Month. Nidus is putting on a series of events throughout BC. Curious about the difference between Personal Planning and Estate Planning? See this common question. Here is a breakdown of the events:
    1. In-person presentations in Vancouver and Burnaby.
    2. Webinars on personal planning viewable anywhere.
      • Courthouse Libraries BC is helping to host two of these webinars directed at intermediaries (community workers, librarians) on Medical Assistance in Dying (Oct. 25 – tomorrow!) and Personal Planning tools (Nov. 10) – register here.
    3. Public Libraries hosting group viewings of select webinars:
      • Capilano, Lynn Valley, Parkgate (North Vancouver)
      • Grand Forks & District
      • Kitimat
      • Trail & District
      • Williams Lake
      • Hazelton
      • Lillooet

 

  • Thursday, November 3 (6:30-9:30pm): BC FIPA is turning 25 and holding a celebratory soiree at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver.

Their “goal for the future is to better engage and educate the public about the importance of freedom of information and protection of privacy. By attending our Celebratory Soiree, you’ll help pave the way.” Show your support, and enjoy an evening of food, drinks and live entertainment! Register for tickets here.

  • Friday, November 4 (5:00-7:30pm): Attend a Panel Discussion on The Fate of Women, Marginalized Refugees and Asylum Seekers at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBCubc_liunov2016 (Vancouver campus). The UBC Opera Ensemble, the Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC Community Engagement, the Faculty of Arts, the Peter A. Allard School of Law, Green College, St. John’s College, Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC), and other partners have come together to host the program. Follow the conversation on Twitter using #RefugeeUBC. Register here.
    • Moderator: Efrat Arbel, Assistant Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law
    • Panelists:
      Malcom Atia, aspiring actor, arrived in Canada as a refugee from Uganda
      Fadi Yachoua, Syrian refugee lawyer
      Kerstin Walter, Director, Settlement Orientation Services
      Chris Morrissey, Rainbow Refugee Committee

 

  • Monday, November 14 (12:30-2pm): If you are involved with a pre-existing society, you have likely heard about the Societies Act transition that will affect 27,000 lfnp_clbcsuch societies in B.C. Register for this free webinar hosted by Law For Non-Profits and Courthouse Libraries BC.

Martha Rans will provide useful information on the bylaw and policy changes necessary for your organization to effectively make the transition.

  • November 16-23 (Various Dates): BCCLA is hosting and co-hosting a number of workshops and conferences in November on everything from Charter litigation to Media Democracylogo_bccla
    (free), and a Youth and Civil Liberties Conference for students! See more info on how to register here.

 

  • November 19-26 is Conflict Resolution Week! Invite a Mediate BC mediator to your workplace or organizational office during the week of Nov. 19th-26th to host a free Learn@Lunch!conflictresolutionweek2016 You provide the lunch, they provide the presenter! Email training@mediatebc.com for more information. Other in-person events include:
    • Monday, November 21 (12:00-1:00pm): Learn @ Lunch series with People’s Law School in Vancouver. Join mediator and collaborative game developer Sharon Sutherland in an exploration of the ways in which playing (and creating) tabletop games can improve individual and group skills in collaborative problem solving!
    • There are more free and paid events on Mediation, including conflict resolution for Small Business. See all events here.

 

  • Tuesday, November 22 (7:00-8:30pm): Emily’s Choice: A Child Protection Story screening at VPL in Vancouver. Come to Vancouver Public Library emilyschoice(Central Branch) for a screening of Emily’s Choice: A Child Protection Story. Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion about the child protection process and the challenges of preserving the welfare and safety of children in our communities.
    • Developed by Legal Services Society and the Healthy Aboriginal Network, Emily’s Choice is a graphic novel and video that use story and imagery to tell the story of Emily and her son, Greg. Emily is struggling with addiction and an unhealthy relationship. She loves her son, Greg, but can’t always take care of him. When Greg goes into foster care, Emily gets legal help and the support of her family to get Greg back.

     

  • Monday, November 28 (6:00-8:00pm): National Self-Represented-Litigants Support Network meets in Vancouver. The group offers free support for individuals going through the difficult experience of representing themselves in family or civil court. Held at the Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre at 2772 East Broadway, Vancouver. Free Parking available. RSVP to NSSN.vancouver@gmail.com.
  • Stay informed:

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#WWV16: Mothers without Legal Status

By YWCA Metro Vancouver

This week, YWCAs across Canada commemorate YWCA Week without Violence, an annual week of violence prevention. Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed and share our posts with your networks.

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At the YWCA, decades of experience have shown us that when we meet the needs of women on the margins, all women benefit.  It’s why we continue with our advocacy efforts for Mothers without Legal Status. If we can help Mothers without Legal Status feel safe, supported and free from violence, then we are promoting a culture that believes all women should be free from violence.

Mothers without Legal Status are women who do not have permanent status under the Immigration & Refugee Protection Act to stay in Canada, but family court orders prevent their children from leaving the jurisdiction.  Women in this situation face deportation while their children are left with partners who abused them. This hardship is unacceptable, and we work tirelessly to ensure every Mother without Legal Status who comes to us for help is approved to stay in Canada as a Permanent Resident.

While our advocacy efforts alleviate some day-to-day suffering for Mothers without Legal Status, the permanent solution is to change laws so women are no longer ripped away from their children. Our 100% success rate is validating, but it is still no guarantee for these women, who can spend up to three years in limbo. They fear every knock on the door could be Canada Border Services Agency, coming to take them away.

This fear and vulnerability sends many Mothers without Legal Status back to their abusers. Our system renders women dependent on their abusers to secure status in Canada, as it is their abusers who are entering an agreement with the government to have their wives stay in Canada. The abuser controls the sponsorship. He can threaten to withdraw it if she is not compliant, stall document processing or refuse to follow up on requests for more information or documentation.

If we want to end violence against women, we need to prevent a woman’s status in Canada from being tied to her abuser. We need to allow a woman leaving her abusive partner to file her own application, in secret, using the address of a friend, transition house or settlement agency. The applicant should be able to use whatever evidence she has of her abuse, including police or hospital reports, her own statement, information from victim services or other agencies she has sought support from or friends and family who are aware of the abuse. Most importantly, this application must allow her to begin the process of securing financial independence through income assistance and/or employment (and she should not be penalized for her personal path towards economic independence).

This is not a radical idea. This type of program has existed for more than 16 years in the United States and has not created havoc, abuse of the process or increased immigration demands. Creating a similar program here will demonstrate that Canada is serious about ending violence against every person, every day.

Learn more about YWCA programs supporting women leaving abusive relationships.

Contact Us

  • To support YWCA Mothers’ without Legal Status: 604 895 5763 or jrodriguez@ywcavan.org
  • To learn more about our advocacy work: Chantelle Krish, Associate Director of Advocacy and Communications ckrish@ywcavan.org
  • If you are, or know someone who is a mother without legal status in need of individual support, guidance or advocacy: Andrea Vollans, YWCA Legal Educator avollans@ywcavan.org

YWCA Metro Vancouver

ywcavan-logoThe YWCA serves women and families throughout the metropolitan region spanning Burnaby, Surrey, the Tri-cities, Maple Ridge, Langley/Aldergrove, Abbotsford, New Westminster, Richmond and North Vancouver.

Our mission is to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and integrated services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.

Our resources on Clicklaw include:mothers-without-status-booklet

Stay informed with YWCA Metro Vancouver:

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Oct. 2016 – Events (Richmond, Vancouver, Burnaby, online)

 

 

 

 

  • cubdy5cwaaa1z79Hear the PovNet story at the Vancouver launch of Storming the Digital Divide, Monday, October 177pm – 9:30pm. Our Town Cafe, 245 E. Broadway (@ Kingsway) The cafe and washroom are wheelchair accessible.

 

 

 

Stay informed:

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World Cerebral Palsy Day

Adapted from Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia

There are over 10,000 people living with cerebral palsy in British Columbia.

Cerebral Palsy Association of BC was started in 1954 by a group of parents who wanted to assist their children living with CP to reach their maximum potential within society. We provide support, education, and information throughout BC. Our resources on Clicklaw include:

wcpd16_logo_world_hi-res-300x167World CP Day is a movement of people with cerebral palsy and their families, and the organizations that support them, in more than 50 countries. The goal of World CP Day is to ensure that children and adults with cerebral palsy (CP) have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society. It is only together, that we can make that happen.

In recognition of World CP Day 2016, the Government of British Columbia and cities and towns across the province have agreed to proclaim “World CP Day” and the province’s major landmarks will be lighting up green, the official colour of CP.

This map shows the governments that are proclaiming World CP Day and the landmarks that will be lit up on October 5th.

How to use the map: You can zoom in or out. Click any icon to show more about that proclamation or landmark. Click the button in the top left to bring up a list of all of the locations recognizing World CP Day.


Cerebral Palsy Association of BC

Our Mission is:

  • To raise awareness of Cerebral Palsy in the community;
  • To assist those living with Cerebral Palsy to reach their maximum potential; and
  • To work to see those living with Cerebral Palsy recognize their place as equals in a diverse society.

STAY INFORMED WITH CEREBRAL PALSY ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA:

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