2016 Bi-monthly Update Series: November/December

In our 2015 year-end update, we promised to provide bimonthly updates to new resources and services added to Clicklaw in those two months. This post concludes our 2016 series with a glimpse into some of the changes and updates made in November and December. We plan to continue these updates into 2017.

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


RDSP Helpline
by PLAN Institute

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a Canada-wide registered matched savings plan specific for people with disabilities. This helpline will help answer questions about the RDSP and the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) pre-requisite.

Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT): Small Claims Solution Explorer
by Civil Resolution Tribunal

The Solution Explorer is a tool for helping people manage and resolve disputes in BC. It’s now available to beta test for small claims problems. The beta version won’t let you make a claim with the CRT yet. Use it to find free legal information and tools about small claims matters.

Common Question: Can I get a legal order to keep an abuser away from me?

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 the inability to hire a process server does not hinder service. This will be in effect for one year, and may be extended for two additional one-year periods, at the discretion of the Ministry. Read more at the Common Question page.

Common Question: I’ve been turned down for PWD benefits. What can I do?

If the Ministry has turned down your application for the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefit, you have the right to appeal. You have 20 business days, from the day you receive the letter telling you that your application has been rejected, to give the Ministry your reconsideration request. You must get the reconsideration request form from a Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation (MSDSI) office. Read more at the Common Question page.

Housing Help Guide
by Justice Education Society of BC

A series of information sheets about legal questions around housing. The help guides includes topics such as: Being a Tenant, Discrimination and Renting, Buying a House, Selling your House and Foreclosure.

MyLawBC: I’ve been served with a court document pathway
by Legal Services Society

This guided pathway will help you figure out what to do next if you’ve been served with (given) court documents in a family law case. It will lead you to the best available resources for your particular situation, including online self-help guides or in-person services.

Guide to the Law of Protests in British Columbia
by McGrady & Company

This guide informs you of your rights when dealing with the police at public demonstrations. It is designed to help you exercise your right to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience, and avoid committing any criminal offence. It is also designed to assist you in the event you are arrested.

Filing Guide: How to file a Transition Application in Societies Online
by BC Registry Services

A step-by-step guide to the Societies Act Transition Application.

Stay informed:

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Jan. 2017 Events – (Online, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Ladysmith, New Westminster, Vancouver, Victoria)

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.

You will learn about how to meet the residency obligation and renewing PR cards, steps to becoming a citizen, key points on sponsorship of spouses and parents, changes to the Caregiver program, the 4 year cap on TFWs, and about the Express Entry program.

Register Online or by Phone at 604-436-5400.

How can you plan for incapacity, end-of-life, and other support needs? Learn about Representation Agreements – the only legal document in BC to plan for health care and personal care matters. Find out about other documents being used and promoted in the health system – are they legal? What do they mean for patients and their families?

Register Online.

Wednesday, January 11 (10:30-11:30am) 1-380 Cook Street, Victoria: Elder Abuse: What Is It? How Do We Deal With It? Workshop – Contact 250-384-6542 to register.

Thursday, January 12 (1:00-3:00pm) 620-8th Street, New Westminster: Frauds and Scams Workshop – Contact 604-519-1066 to register.

Friday, January 13 (12:30-2:00pm) 1022 Nelson Street, Vancouver: Government Benefits for Older Adults Workshop – Contact 604-683-4574 to register.

Tuesday, January 17 (1:30-3:30pm) 630-2nd Ave, Ladysmith: Government Benefits for Older Adults Workshop – Contact 250-245-3079 to register.

Wednesday, January 25 (9:30-11:00am) 1200 Glen Pine Court, CoquitlamGovernment Benefits for Older Adults Workshop – Contact 604-927-6940 to register.

Enduring Powers of Attorney or a Representation Agreement with authority for routine finances are legal documents in BC adults may use to plan for incapacity, end-of-life, and other support needs. If there are no arrangements in place, adults can lose their rights through adult guardianship, called Committeeship in BC. Find out how adult guardianship is the LAST RESORT in BC. Also learn about the limits of a Power of Attorney and Bank Power of Attorney.

Register Online.

Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor, Better Business Bureau will lead this session on: how to spot the scammers, how to protect your identity, and what to do if you are scammed.

Register Online.

Join for a fun and participatory seminar on: The dynamics of family conflict; How to approach difficult conversations; Tools for dealing with tension and conflict while building agreements; Where to find support from conflict resolution professionals and other specialists.

Register Online.

All organizations that are incorporated under the current Society Act must plan to complete their “transition application,” with revised constitution and bylaws, by the time of their 2017 AGM. This workshop will provide the information on the bylaw and policy changes necessary for your organization to effectively make the transition when the new Act is proclaimed.

Register Online.

Stay informed:

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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:

renting_rights

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:

last_reviewed_01

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

dabc_logo
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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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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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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Get legal info at your local library

By Shannon McLeod
LawMatters Program Coordinator

October is only a few days away, and it is Canadian Library Month, an excellent opportunity to recognize the role public libraries play in providing legal information to their communities.lmlogo

Since 2007, Courthouse Libraries BC has been proud to partner with BC’s public libraries through the LawMatters program. Supported by the Law Foundation of British Columbia, LawMatters is Courthouse Libraries BC’s outreach program for public librarians.

Through this partnership we are working to enhance public access to legal information in all communities across British Columba.

The LawMatters program focuses on four main areas to help support public libraries:

Grants

Financial assistance is given to all public libraries that choose to participate through our grants program. Grants are distributed annually to help purchase legal information and reference materials.

Collection Support

We provide libraries with a core list of titles to use as a guide for selecting and ordering materials. The list is evaluated annually for currency and accuracy. We are also available to offer suggestions and work with librarians to support local collection needs.

Working with Clicklaw Wikibooks, LawMatters has previously distributed print copies of Clicklaw Wikibook titles Legal Help for British Columbians, JP Boyd on Family Law, and Dial-A-Law free of charge to libraries throughout BC to support legal collections.

Skills Development

We offer training sessions to public librarians to improve their confidence helping the public with legal information questions. This includes how to use legal resources, the basics of legal research, and general legal reference skills.

Partnerships

Our goal is to increase access to legal information for all communities in BC and empower librarians and to provide legal information, reference, and referral.

We aim to build community capacity through partnerships which we continue to explore with libraries and other organizations. We encourage and consult with public libraries to host community forums to connect with local organizations that work with the public to help them find legal information.


For more information on the growing role of public libraries and public librarians as partners in access to justice, see “LawMatters at Your Local Public Library; A History of BC’s Program for Public Legal Information and Education in Public Libraries.”

Stay informed:

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