Feb. 2017 Events – (Online, Burnaby, Surrey, 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.

Wednesday, February 1 (11:30-12:30pm) Online Webinar: Live Demo of the Personal Planning Registry. Register Online.

Wednesday, February 8 (11:30-12:30pm) Online Webinar: Planning for Health and Personal Care. Register Online.

Wednesday, February 22 (11:30-12:30pm) Online Webinar: Planning for Financial and Legal Matters. Register Online.

  • February 3-16 (Various Times): BCCLA has several events going on this month:logo_bccla

February 3-5 (Various Times) In the wake of tragedy: acting together against Islamophobia includes Vancouver and Victoria in a list of more than 30 communities taking part in vigils to mourn the loss of life that resulted from this act of terrorism.

Wednesday, February 8 (5:00-7:00pm) 2228 Oak Bay Ave, VictoriaVictoria meet-up at the Penny Farthing – Come meet Micheal and Paul, discuss current civil liberties and human rights issues, and find out if you might like to get more involved! RSVP so we know how many snacks to order.

Thursday, February 16 (7:00-8:30pm) Alice McKay Room, Lower Level, Vancouver Public Library – 350 W Georgia St, VancouverPanel – Protecting the Right to Protest: Free Speech versus Corporate Power – The aim of this roundtable discussion is to explore how we can mobilize the media to, among other issues, educate the public for the need to reform the courts to regain citizen rights to free speech and the right to dissent.

Pro Bono lawyers provide a 30-minute free legal consultation on issues related to TFWs on Immigration, Employment, Human Rights & Privacy, Admin-General and Civil Procedure. This service is for low-income migrant workers including: Low-Skilled Workers, Persons under the Live-in Caregiver Program, Agricultural Workers, etc. All clients should book an appointment at least a week before the target Clinic date. Book an appointment with the organizer.

  • February 6-16 (Various Dates): People’s Law School 1004presents the following events in Burnaby and Vancouver:

Monday, February 6 (7:00-8:30pm) Burnaby Public Library – 6100 Willingdon Avenue: Family Law – Child Access and Custody – Contact 604-436-5400 to register.

Tuesday, February 7 (12:00-1:00pm) 900 Howe Street, Vancouver: Currency Fraud – Register Online.

Wednesday, February 8 (7:00-8:30pm) Burnaby Public Library – 7311 Kingsway: Powers of Attorney, Joint Bank Accounts and Representation Agreements – Contact 604-683-4574 to register.

  • Wednesday, February 8 (6:30-8:30pm): Disability Alliance BC dabc_logopromotes a free online webinar from lawyer Ken Kramer, Q.C. on Disability & Estate Planning – Topics: Preparing a Will, Trust planning for persons with disability, Disability and Estate planning
  • February 14-17 (Various Dates): Mediate BC presents the following events in Vancouver:

Tuesday, February 14 (12:00-1:00pm) #150, 900 Howe Street, Vancouver: Games and Other Tools for Intergenerational Conflict Prevention – Register Online. (Part of Mediate BC’s Learn@Lunch Series with People’s Law School)

Wednesday, February 15 (1:30-3:00pm) Barclay Manor, 1447 Barclay Street, Vancouver: Elder Mediation: Maintain Your Voice and Your Choice – Contact 604-669-5051 to register.

Thursday, February 16 (9:30-11:00am) 900 Howe Street, Vancouver: Top 10 Things To Know About Family Mediation – Register Online. (Part of Mediate BC’s Learn@Lunch Series with People’s Law School)

Friday, February 17 (1:00-3:00pm) South Granville Seniors Centre, 1420 West 12th Ave, Vancouver: Collaborative Gaming for Seniors and Families – Drop-in.

  • Wednesday, February 15 (11:30-2:30pm): Pivot Legal Society redzonesforumpresents A Forum on Red Zones: Bail and Sentencing Conditions & Marginalized People in Vancouver at the Japanese Language School Auditorium, 487 Alexander Street, Vancouver in the DTES.

Speakers will present and comment on findings from a study conducted in Vancouver on area restrictions and other conditions and lead a discussion with participants. Free lunch will be served.

The BC Society Act, which provides the rules for governance and incorporation of non-profits, officially proclaimed important changes on November 28, 2016. There will be a two year transition period by which time all societies in BC will have to make the switch to the new Act. 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. Tickets are $50.

  • Monday, February 20 (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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BC Family Justice Innovation Lab Official Launch

logo_bcfamilyjusticeinnovationlabBy Kari Boyle
Coordinator, BC Family Justice Innovation Lab

Adapted from this post.

What is the Lab?

The Lab is not a place, an organization or a product.  It is a space.  A space for taking new approaches to family justice innovation in BC.  It is a space for diverse groups of people to work together with the support and tools they need.

Who is working on the Lab?

Our Core Lab Team is described here.  I have the privilege of the “Coordinator” title but we are all working as a team to keep moving forward.

Why is the Lab important? 

Previous family justice reforms have not resulted in the kind of transformational change that is really needed to make the system accessible and effective for BC families.  It remains too complex, too expensive and too time-consuming.  A new approach is needed.  A small group of us looked outside the justice system for inspiration and were excited to learn about “lab” approaches being used in other sectors to effect meaningful social change.  This approach is different because it is:

  • family-centred (not just in words but in action)
  • systemic
  • participatory
  • experimental

It is focused on action rather than creating another report with recommendations for what others should do to make things better.  We have enough reports.  We will aim to experiment, including with prototyping, and to take a “learn as you go” approach while still ensuring we have robust evaluation data.

There are many different kinds of labs.  This Lab will focus on using a combination of human-centred design approaches and system thinking (coined “systemic design”).  Human-centred design places the people who will be using the innovation at the centre of the innovation design process. It is a fast-paced, experimental process that taps into people’s innate creativity, and has four iterative steps – empathy, definition, ideation and prototyping.  System thinking acknowledges that the BC family justice system is a complex adaptive system and encourages multi-disciplinary engagement with people across the “system” defined broadly i.e. all of the pieces that families encounter while taking their journey through separation and divorce.  As M. Jerry McHale Q.C. said early in our exploration, “this is not a justice issue with some social aspects, this is a social issue with a few justice aspects”.

We believe that the Lab will be able to pursue change in new ways that individual justice organizations cannot do by themselves.  In so doing, we aim to support and amplify their efforts to improve the BC justice system.  We are also committed to supporting and collaborating with the Access to Justice BC.

This is a learning journey.  We don’t have everything figured out but we are confident that we can help if we start, if we engage with others, if we are open to creative ideas, and if we really try to see the system from the perspective of those we exist to serve.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to participate in the Lab in some way.  Follow us on Twitter (@BCFamInnovLab) and use the “contact us” feature on our website and we will get back to you. Thank you.

Stay informed with BC Family Justice Innovation Lab:

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2016 Bi-monthly Update Series: July-August

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 July and August:

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


lss-logoLegal Aid Community Outreach
by Legal Services Society

The following community partners have important changes:

  • Boston Bar First Nation – this location is temporarily closed
  • Lytton First Nation – see the new address posted
  • Vernon Women’s Transition House Society – see the new phone number posted

BC_Centre_for_Elder_Advocacy_and_Support_LogoSeniors’ Legal Clinic
by BC Centre for Elder Advocacy & Support (BC CEAS)

New locations added in Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Surrey, and Vancouver’s West End. BC CEAS now offers legal services at those locations once a month. See the schedule posted.

EFry_logoElizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver

Since 1939, EFry has been providing support to incarcerated or at risk women, as well as their children. Services include assisting clients in understanding and navigating the court process at the Downtown Community Court and supporting girls in custody at the Burnaby Youth Custody Centre.

BC_Ombudsperson_logoBC Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson can conduct impartial and confidential investigations to determine if a public agency is being fair to the people it serves. Their services are provided free of charge.

Family_Law_in_BC_postcardsFamily Law in BC: Quick Reference Tool
by Legal Services Society

This set of postcards has been updated. They are available online or in print.

 

bcgov

Options for Parents and Families: Collaborative Planning and Decision-Making in Child Welfare
by BC Ministry of Children and Family Development

This two-page booklet briefly describes different kinds of shared decision-making, and some of the ways that you can be involved in planning when a child welfare worker has concerns about your child’s safety.

bcgovPermanent Transfer of Custody of a Child to Someone Familiar in BC
by BC Ministry of Children and Family Development

When a temporary placement for a child is not possible, the alternative could be transferring custody to the caregiver by adoption or a court order. This page briefly describes the conditions, guardian’s responsibilities, financial support, rights, access orders, and future legal matters.

cropped-clicklaw_logo_postit.pngClicklaw’s Find Someone to Talk With

The list of toll-free phone numbers for law-related help in BC has been updated.

Clicklaw HelpMap

Most visited HelpMap services in July & August:

  1. Family Justice Centres
  2. Court Registries
  3. UBC Law Students Legal Advice Clinics
  4. Access Pro Bono Clinics
  5. LSS Provincial Court Family Duty Counsel
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Moving in together, “Common-Law Relationships” and Unmarried Spouses in BC

Are we or aren’t we?

0_censusThis past year, your household would have received some form of the 2016 Census, which included a question that could stump a few people: Are you married? Do you have a common-law partner?

The Statistics Canada website defines Common-Law Partner as “persons who are members of an opposite-sex or same-sex couple living common law. A couple living common law is one in which the members are not legally married to each other but live together as a couple in the same dwelling.”

“Common-law partner” is the term used federally (Canada-wide) to mean a marriage-like relationship that has lasted for two years, just one year or even less, depending on what law applies.

In BC, our provincial family laws use the term “spouse” or “unmarried spouse” to refer to an unmarried couple who has lived together in a “marriage-like relationship” for at least two years, or less than that if they have had a child together. There is no such thing as a “common-law spouse” or “common-law marriage” in BC. However, there are still certain consequences of being an “unmarried spouse”. See Unmarried Spouses.

What should I know about before moving in with my partner?

keys-525732_1280In BC, If you have lived together in a “marriage-type relationship” for two years (with some variability), these are some important consequences to know about:

  • the debts either of you incurred while you were living together are considered “family debt”, which means that when you break up, the responsibility for this debt may be divided equally between you. Read more about this at: How to divide property and debts, Property & Debt in Family Matters;
  • if you buy property together during your relationship, regardless of who paid the downpayment, you could equally share it and equally share the increase in value of property you had before the relationship, which can even apply to the increase in value of “excluded property” like gifts and inheritances;
  • the courts will treat you like a married couple when determining spousal support. See Spousal Support;
  • you may be considered spouses for the purpose of social assistance and other benefits* (which may negatively or positively affect your eligibility). See Thinking of moving in together?;
  • it may affect your partner’s right to “contest” your will. See What Happens When Your Spouse Dies.

I’m already living with my partner. Is there anything I could do?

I want legal advice and/or more information on my situation. Where can I get it?

If you are low income and have questions on family law matters, the Family LawLine can provide more information and help.

To find legal advice and other help on family law issues, see Helpmap results for “family law” and “legal advice” here. It includes services like the CBABC’s Lawyer Referral Service, which connects you with a lawyer who will offer an initial 30-minute consultation for a nominal fee of $25 plus taxes.

This post didn’t cover everything. Read more about this topic:

For example, we weren’t able to discuss situations where an unmarried couple have had a child together. That would have made this post very long indeed! Read the resources linked throughout this post for more information. Another great resource to consult is: Living Together or Living Apart: Common-Law Relationships, Marriage, Separation, and Divorce

Past posts on Family Law from the Clicklaw Blog:


STAY INFORMED:

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2016 Bi-monthly Update Series: May-June

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 hundreds of changes in May and June:

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


New Resources on Adult Guardianship & Enduring Powers of Attorney
by Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry

 

Sponsorship Breakdown
by Legal Services Society

New French Edition added. Sponsorship Breakdown is for permanent residents and conditional permanent residents who need help when the person sponsoring them in Canada is no longer supporting them, and they are unable to support themselves. Explains what happens when a sponsorship breaks down, and how to apply for welfare.

 

Updated Dial-a-Law Scripts
by Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch

 

A Guide for Manufactured Home Park Landlords and Tenants in British Columbia
by BC Residential Tenancy Branch

This booklet provides a summary of the key features of the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act and how they affect landlords and tenants in manufactured home parks in British Columbia.

 

Roads to Safety: Legal Information for Older Women in BC
by West Coast LEAF

Roads to Safety is a legal handbook for older women in BC that covers legal issues that older women may face when they have experienced violence. It explains rights and options, using stories to illustrate the legal information.

 

Rise Women’s Legal Centre

Formed through a partnership between West Coast LEAF and UBC’s Allard School of Law to provides free and low-cost legal services to women. Services are provided by upper year law students, under the supervision of staff lawyers. Rise offers a range of services, from information and summary advice, unbundled legal services, and in some instances representation in court. Currently accepting appointments for Tuesdays and Wednesdays from May 24 to July 20; fall dates TBA.

 

Common Questions: In response to questions we have been asked repeatedly via email, reference or by webinar attendees, we added three new FAQs this June:

 


An Evaluation of the Clicklaw Wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law: Final Report
by Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family

This study assesses outputs & outcomes of the JP Boyd on Family Law wikibook by analyzing data from Google Analytics and data collected from a pop-up survey of users, a follow-up survey administered 1 week later and a follow-up survey 6 months later, to gauge the efficacy of wikibooks as a collaborative PLE model.


Disclosing Your Disability: A Legal Guide for People with Disabilities in BC
by Disability Alliance BC

The guide discusses the legal rights and responsibilities around disclosure for people with disabilities in the context of employment.

 


HIGH STAKES: The impacts of child care on the human rights of women and children
by West Coast LEAF

This report is grounded in diverse women’s real-life stories about how the inadequacy of the child care system has impacted them and their children—undermining their safety, well-being, & human rights. The report analyzes the legal implications of these harms and calls for urgent government action.

 


Responding to Child Welfare Concerns: Your Role in Knowing When and What to Report
by BC Ministry of Children and Family Development

Updated for 2016, this booklet explains when to report child abuse and neglect, and what to report. Includes what child abuse and neglect is, warning signs, what to do if a child tells you about the abuse, and what to do if you suspect abuse. It also explains what to expect when you make the report and what happens next.

 

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Clicklaw Refresher (Webinar Recording)
by Clicklaw + LawMatters (Courthouse Libraries BC)

See the recording of our live 1-hr webinar for front-line community workers, advocates and public librarians. Learn how to search online for reliable legal information & help specific to BC, with an overview of how to use Clicklaw, the HelpMap, and the Clicklaw Wikibooks.

 

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Women and Family Law: Parenting Time and Parental Responsibilities (Webinar Recording)
by West Coast LEAF and Courthouse Libraries BC

See the recording of this live 1.5-hr webinar on recent changes to family law in BC and their impacts on the parenting experiences of women with abusive or harassing exes. Speaker Zara Suleman considers some common legal challenges including parenting assessment reports, denial of parenting time, relocating with a child, and litigation harassment. Zara offers lawyers and frontline service providers who assist women fleeing abuse effective strategies to cope with and address these issues.

 


Notice – BC Government URLs

You may have noticed that some of the links to websites hosted by the BC Government may be broken as they restructure. We are currently working with BC Gov website staff to keep links updated. For example, see the updated link to Family Justice in BC.

Stay informed:

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Family LawLINE: Helping BC families with their legal problems

masterlogo-www.lss.bc.ca_blackThe Legal Services Society’s Family LawLINE is a telephone service that assists people with their family law matters, including many who are located in rural and remote areas. Lawyers work from their own offices, using the phone to provide free legal coaching and “next step” legal advice to eligible people across British Columbia. Clients can schedule a number of follow-up phone appointments and share documents by fax or email.

Clients come to the Family LawLINE with a wide variety of family legal issues. There is no “typical client”.  One client may have recently separated and is seeking initial legal advice and assistance to move forward.  Another may be involved in a court process or is seeking assistance to change existing agreements or orders. By using LawLINE, a client has the opportunity to work with a family lawyer to identify goals and desired outcomes, and to develop a step-by-step plan of action.

WHAT SPECIFIC SERVICES DOES FAMILY LawLINE PROVIDE?

Family LawLINE helps people who are representing themselves through all stages of court and collaborative process by providing:00_FamilyLawLine

  • Interpreters, if clients need services in languages other than English
  • Information and advice on court processes, both Provincial and Supreme Court
  • Information and advice on options for resolving legal issues out of court
  • Referrals to other services, including online resources and other public agencies
  • Assistance with preparing documents for court
  • Coaching to help clients:
    • understand the law relevant to their particular case,
    • make more effective court appearances,
    • present evidence properly,
    • prepare for negotiation and settlement,
    • use Public Legal Education and Information tools, and
    • identify their goals and how to achieve them effectively.

HOW DOES SOMEONE GET THESE SERVICES?

To qualify for the Family LawLINE service, a person must:

  • Qualify financially;
  • have an eligible family law issue; and
  • not have a lawyer already working for them.

To find out about eligibility and access the Family LawLINE:

Call the Legal Services Society’s provincial call centre at 604-408-2172 (for Greater Vancouver) or toll free at 1-866-577-2525, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and Wednesdays until 2:30.

STAY INFORMED WITH LSS:

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Free Webinar Training for Advocates – Women and Law – Parenting Time and Parenting Responsibilities

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.54.43 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.55.33 PM

Understanding the recent changes to family law in BC and their impacts on parenting experiences is a critical role for advocates working with women fleeing abuse.

That’s why Courthouse Libraries BC and West Coast LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund) are offering a free 1.5 hour webinar aimed at frontline service providers who assist women survivors of violence–including transition house workers, settlement workers, sexual assault support workers, counsellors, and others. Lawyers who work primarily in areas other than family law may also find the webinar useful, as may family law practitioners seeking a feminist anti-violence lens on legal issues they encounter regularly. The webinar will touch on common legal challenges such as parenting assessment reports, denial of parenting time, relocating with a child, and the overlap between family law and child protection matters, as well as strategies to cope with these issues. The discussion will be grounded in an analysis of diverse women’s experiences navigating the family law system after leaving an abusive relationship.

West Coast LEAF’s education manager Alana Prochuk will co-present the webinar with expert guest Zara Suleman. Zara practices family law and fertility law; she is also a certified family law mediator and collaborative law practitioner.  Zara has worked as an independent legal researcher and consultant and was also the Director of the Family Law Project for West Coast LEAF.  She has been actively involved in presenting, writing and editing public legal education materials on family law issues. Prior to law school Zara was a frontline community advocate for over a decade.

We invite you to join our free 1.5 hour webinar on Monday June 27th from noon to 1:30 pm Pacific Time.

Space in the webinar is limited to 100 people. Please register here today!

This webinar is funded generously by the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Courthouse Libraries is a non-profit organization in BC helping lawyers and the community find and use legal information. You can contact them at 1-800-665-2570 or email the training coordinator at training@courthouselibrary.ca.

West Coast LEAF is BC’s first and only organization dedicated to advancing women’s equality through the law. West Coast LEAF has been working since 1985 to end discrimination against women through equality rights litigation, law reform, and public legal education. To learn more about West Coast LEAF’s public legal education programming, including this webinar, please contact Alana Prochuk at 604-684-8772 extension 117 or education@westcoastleaf.org.

Stay informed:

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2016 Bi-monthly Update Series: March-April

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 selection from the hundreds of changes in March and April:

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


Battered Women’s Support Services
by Battered Women’s Support Services

See BWSS’ expanded legal advocacy program which includes full representation (family and immigration matters), and other help on family law issues: workshops, a family law clinic and a court forms preparation clinic.

 

Islamophobia Hotline
by SABA BC, Access Pro Bono, National Council of Canadian Muslims, BCPIAC, FACL BC, CLAS, BCCLA, CABL, CBA BC

Free confidential legal advice if you feel that you have been discriminated, harassed, or faced violence because you are Muslim or were perceived to be Muslim: 604-343-3828

 

Resources on police record checks
by Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Want to know what a police record is? How to try to deal with a non-conviction record? What privacy and human rights laws apply, or best practices for employers? Check out this resource from the CCLA.

 

LSLAP Manuals
by LSLAP Law Students’ Legal Advice Program

See the latest links for LSLAP’s updated legal advice manuals.

 

Coping with Separation Handbook
by Legal Services Society

For spouses (married or living in a marriage-like relationship) dealing with the emotional aspects of separating. Describes ways to cope and how to help your children cope. Includes support services for spouses, parents, and children, and where to find legal help.

 

The Social Security Tribunal
by Disability Alliance BC and CLAS

In 2013, the process to appeal the denial of Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP-D) changed when a new system, the Social Security Tribunal (SST), replaced the Review Tribunal. This guide will help people and advocates who are appealing denial of CPP-D to the SST. The guide has been updated in 2016.

 

Atira Legal Services
by Atira Women’s Resources Society

See updated information for Atira’s Legal Advocacy Program for Women in the DTES, Atira’s Weekly Summary Legal Advice Clinic, and Atira Women’s Court Form Preparation Clinic.

 

The McKenzie Friend: Choosing and Presenting a Courtroom Companion
by NSLRP

As a self-represented litigant, you may bring someone to sit with you at the front of a courtroom when you are appearing before a judge or master. You must ask the judge for permission for this person – often a friend or family member – to sit beside you and help you through the process.

 

Executor Guide for BC
by Heritage Law

This publicly available wikibook will help you understand the steps involved in being an executor and probating a will.

 

Leaving Abuse
by Legal Services Society

This graphic novel tells the story of Maya, who is leaving her abusive partner but doesn’t know where to get help. Through illustrations and clear basic legal information, Leaving Abuse shows how she finds the support and legal aid she and her children need to stay safe and start a new life.

 

TRU Community Legal Clinic (CLC)
by Thompson Rivers University (TRU)

The Community Legal Clinic (CLC) is the first student-staffed pro bono legal clinic in the Interior of British Columbia. The students and the supervising lawyer are a passionate team providing legal assistance and advice to those who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance.

 

Preparing for B.C.’s New Societies Act: A Guide to the Transition Process
by BC Registry Services

The new Societies Act will come into effect on Nov. 28, 2016. In the two years following that date, every preexisting society will be required to “transition” to the new Act. This document sets out some basic information about the transition process and other matters that societies may wish to consider over the coming months.

 

Debt collection & debt repayment agents
by Consumer Protection BC

Consumer Protection BC is the licensing and regulatory body for the debt collection and repayment industry (which includes debt collectors, collection agencies, bailiffs and debt repayment agents). They provide information on your rights & obligations around debt collection practices. Includes links on how to dispute a debt, request communication in writing only, or notify a collection agency you are not the debtor.

Includes updated information on debt collection practices. See also blog post on Debt Repayment Agents: New Rules are in place and New things to know about BC’s debt collection laws


Notice – BC Government URLs

You may have noticed that some of the links to websites hosted by the BC Government may be broken as they restructure. We are currently working with BC Gov website staff to keep links updated. For example, see the updated link to Family Justice in BC.

Stay informed:

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Justice Access Centres (JACs) – Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo

What can JACs help you with?

Family and civil law issues: separation, divorce, income security, employment, housing and debt.

A range of information and services are available, designed to help you find an early and affordable solution.

If you don’t live in Vancouver, Victoria or Nanaimo, see “How Can I Get in Touch?” at the end of this post for phone numbers you can call for information.

Specific services that JACs offer:

freepik_discussion
Get help with and information about court forms, civil legislation, court procedures, mediation, and more.

You can:

  • meet with intake staff who assess your needs;
  • get informed about the Family Law Act, the Divorce Act, and various other civil-related legislation;
  • get informed about the different levels of court and related court procedures;
  • get a referral to a mediator (family justice counsellors and other mediation options), other dispute resolution professionals, legal services and community resources;
  • access Provincial and Supreme Court forms; and
  • get help with court forms and access computers and dedicated staff for assistance in the Self Help Resource Room (In Nanaimo, if you would like self-help assistance, book an appointment with an interviewer in advance. You can also get help with simple forms on the phone.)

Help from Partnering Agencies at some JAC locations:

01_Clicklaw_30pxMediate BC Society:

Practical, accessible, and affordable choices to prevent, manage and resolve non-family civil disputes (any kind of dispute outside of: separation and divorce, personal injury, child protection or criminal matters).

Vancouver and Victoria have an onsite Mediation Advisor who can explore and help connect people to civil mediators; Nanaimo clients are referred to Victoria.

01_Clicklaw_30pxLegal Services Society:

Family Duty Counsel (FDC) and Family Advice Lawyer (FAL) services (Provincial and Supreme Courts) are available for those who are seeking legal advice in relation to family matters and who do not qualify for legal representation through Legal Aid. FDC and FAL can provide advice about:

  • parenting time or contact / access;
  • guardianship / custody, parenting responsibilities;
  • child support;
  • applications, variations of child support, enforcement;
  • tentative settlement agreements;
  • court procedures; and
  • property (limited advice).

Note: FDC/FAL will not take on your whole case or represent you at a trial.

Aboriginal Community Legal Worker services are available in Nanaimo.

01_Clicklaw_30pxFamily Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP):

FMEP is a BC Ministry of Justice service that helps families and children entitled to spousal support or child support under a maintenance order or agreement.

The Vancouver JAC has an onsite outreach worker to help with the process, and provides information about enrolment, enforcement or changing an order.

Vancouver and Nanaimo JACs only.
01_Clicklaw_30pxCredit Counselling Society:

Free and confidential help for consumers. A Counsellor will review your monthly budget, including: income, expenses and debt payments, and can provide information and guidance to help you make informed, financial decisions.

Vancouver JAC only.

01_Clicklaw_30pxAccess Pro Bono (APB):

APB offers a number of programs which are offered onsite at the JAC (by appointment only, see contact info at end of post):

  • Legal Advice Clinic – Volunteer lawyers provide 30 minute free legal advice appointments for civil and family law issues. Call for financial criteria.
  • Wills Clinic Program – In partnership with the federal Department of Justice and the Provincial Ministry of Justice, APB operates a Wills clinic for low-income seniors (ages 55+) and people with terminal illnesses.
  • Court Form Preparation Clinic (Paralegal Program) – Vancouver JAC only. In partnership with Amici Curiae; support for self-represented litigants who need assistance in preparing BC Supreme Court, BC Court of Appeal, and BC Human Rights Tribunal documents.

How can I get in touch?

  • The Self Help Resource Rooms are in-person ONLY (no telephone assistance).
  • Reception and Intake Services can be reached by phone or drop-in.
jac_vancouverVancouver JAC

Located at the Vancouver Provincial Courthouse, #290-800 Hornby Street.

Hours are M-F, 8am-5pm, extended hours until 7pm on Wednesday by appointment, until 5:15pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Self-Help Resource room is open 8:30-4pm.

Call 604.660.2084 or toll-free at 1-800-663-7867 and ask to be connected to 604.660.2084. The centre serves Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. If you can’t travel to the centre, call for information.

jac_victoriaVictoria JAC

Located at 225 – 850 Burdett Avenue.

Hours are M-F 8am-5:30pm, extended hours until 6:30 on Thursday. Self-Help Resource Room is open 9-4pm.

Call 250.356.7012 or toll-free at 1-800-663-7867 and ask to be connected to 250.356.7012. The centre serves Victoria and the surrounding south Vancouver Island and Gulf Island communities. If you can’t travel to the centre, call for information.

jac_nanaimoNanaimo JAC

Located at 302 – 65 Front St.

Hours are M-F 8-5:30pm, with extended hours on Wednesday until 7pm by appointment only.

Call 250 741-5447 or 1-800-578-8511. The centre serves Nanaimo and the surrounding mid-Island communities. If you can’t travel to the centre, call for information.

Note: JACs are not able to provide support or services for criminal issues, small claims court forms and filings, and some other specific legal solutions.

Get informed with JACs:

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2016 Bi-monthly Update Series: January-February

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 selection from the 150+ changes in January and February:

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


 

New Societies Act: Impact on Pre-existing Societies
by BC Registry Services

The Societies Act is new legislation that will come into effect on November 28, 2016. It governs how societies (not-for-profit corporations) are created and run in B.C. Read about the new Act’s impact on pre-existing societies. We’ll keep you updated via our related Common Question and will post here about upcoming training opportunities for you — subscribe to our blog on the left column if you haven’t already!

 

Legal Support Services Program
by Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Families in Transition)

This advocacy program assists unrepresented people in Family or Supreme Court in Greater Victoria and provides family law information to low-income people, on: separation and divorce, child and spousal support guidelines, family property and debt.

 

Court Form Preparation Clinics at the Vancouver JAC and at Atira
by Law Courts Center and Atira

Get help with BC Supreme Court, BC Court of Appeal, BC Human Rights Tribunal court forms. These clinics are run by volunteer paralegals with the supervision of duty counsel (a lawyer). The clinic can help with: Supreme Court of BC civil court pleadings, civil court forms relating to employment, foreclosures and residential tenancy matters, Supreme Court of BC family court forms, Court of Appeal family law pleadings and organizing appeal books, and BC Human Rights Tribunal forms.

 

Being an Executor
by People’s Law School

This publication is for people who have been appointed as executor in a will. It covers the steps involved in British Columbia in dealing with an estate after a person dies, including the procedure to probate the will. Updated to reflect the Wills, Estates & Succession Act, which became law in 2014.

 

Protection Orders – Questions and Answers
by BC Ministry of Justice

You may be more familiar with the term “restraining orders”. In BC, the proper term is “protection orders”, which can be either peace bonds or family law protection orders under the Family Law Act. Read more about what a protection order is, when you should get one, how it will protect you, and who you can speak with to get more information about how to apply for one.

 

NCCABC Native Courtworkers
by Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia

The purpose of the Native Courtworker program is to help aboriginal people involved in the criminal justice system obtain fair, just, equitable and culturally sensitive treatment. The program can provide the aboriginal accused with appropriate referral to legal, social, education, employment, medical and other resources, liaise between the accused and criminal justice personnel, and much more. The HelpMap service listing has been updated with new location and contact information and is managed directly by NCCABC.

 

Termination under the BC Employment Standards Act
by CBA BC Branch

If your job ends or terminates – whether you quit or you are fired or laid off – you want to be aware of your rights under the law. This script describes your rights under the Employment Standards Act, which sets out some minimum protections for workers in BC.

 

CLAS Services: BC Human Rights Clinic, Community Law Program, Mental Health Law Program
by Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

CLAS programs have been clarified:

  • Human Rights Clinic: exploring settlement, and representation before the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
  • Mental Health Law program: legal advice and representation to people who have been involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act or require representation at a Mental Health Review Board hearing.
  • Community Law Program: 
    • Worker’s Rights – appeals or reviews of SST decision about EI benefits, reconsideration or court review of lost WCAT appeal decision, reconsideration or court review of lost EST appeal decision.
    • Human Rights – information about filing a federal human rights complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal or the Canadian Transportation Agency, court review of decision from the BC Human Rights Tribunal, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, or the Canadian Transportation Agency.
    • Income Security – court review of lost Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal decision, appeal or reviews of SST decision about government pension benefits (CPP, CPP disability, OAS).
    • Housing Security – court review of lost RTB hearing, advice on Order of Possession, advice on co-op evictions, tenant or low-income homeowners facing foreclosure.
    • Mental Health – court review of a Mental Health Review Panel decision under MHA, court review of decision from the Review Board under the Criminal Code, or challenge of certificate of incapability making the PGT statutory property guardian.

Contact CLAS at 604.685.3425 or 1.888.685.6222 more more info. Have your papers ready. Note that CLAS services are for low-income clients; they will refer you to other services if they cannot represent you.


Notice – BC Government URLs

You may have noticed that some of the links to websites hosted by the BC Government may be broken as they restructure. We are working on fixing that and will keep you updated.

Stay informed:

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