2018 Bi-Monthly Update Series: January/February

To keep you informed, here are some highlights of changes and updates made to Clicklaw in January and February:

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


Disability Alliance BC

The following help sheets have been updated in January:

Legal Services Society

MOSAIC

  • Legal Advocacy Program
    The program provides information, summary advice, referrals and legal representation to low-income immigrants and refugees. We help newcomers navigate the Canadian legal system, ensuring that they are informed of their legal rights and responsibilities.
  • Legal Clinic for Temporary Foreign Workers
    Pro Bono lawyers are available to provide a 30 minute free legal consultation on issues related to temporary foreign workers including Employment, Family, Human Rights and Immigration.

Nidus

  • End-Of-Life Planning
    Overview of key issues and documents for end-of-life planning. Links to fact sheets and other web pages.
  • Medical Assistance in Dying
    Information on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) with links to fact sheet and government resources. Link to BC Patient Request form. Analysis of two court cases since federal legislation in effect – Ontario Superior Court and Supreme Court of BC.
  • Medical Assistance in Dying – Fact Sheet
    Information on federal legislation for MAiD with examples and links to related Criminal Code amendments. Links to BC resources for MAiD. Information about rights to give and refuse consent to health care. Links for Cross-Canada information about personal planning.

Privacy Guidance for Landlords and Tenants
by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC

Landlords must follow the privacy rules contained in the BC Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). This guide explains about collecting, using, and disclosing personal information from tenants.

People’s Law School

The following resources give consumers practical and step-by-step information:

  • Buying or Repairing a Car
    Learn how to protect yourself when buying a used car, and what’s involved in making the purchase.
  • Cellphones
    Learn how to decide on a cellphone, negotiate with a cellphone provider, or deal with a problem with a new phone or phone bill.
  • Contracts
    Learn how to write a legal contract, what to consider before signing a contract, and what you should know about cancelling or breaking a contract.
  • Hiring Someone to Perform a Service
    Learn your rights and obligations when you hire someone to perform a service, hiring someone who comes to your door, and what you can do if you’re not happy with a service.
  • Holidays
    Learn what your rights are when booking a holiday or flying, and what you need to know if a holiday is cancelled or you have problems during a holiday.
  • Making a Purchase
    Learn your rights when you buy something, how to navigate warranties and guarantees, what you can do if you change your mind, and what happens if there is a problem with a purchase. Covers yoga studios and other continuing services contracts.

Residential Tenancy Branch: Solution Explorer
by BC Residential Tenancy Branch

This online tool (a beta version) helps you find useful information, resources and template letters specific to your tenancy problem. It also helps you find out what you need to resolve your dispute and whether you may have a valid dispute resolution claim or if you need to take extra steps.

Child and Youth Legal Centre
by Society for Children and Youth of BC

The Centre provides legal help for young people who are experiencing problems relating to family law, child protection, a breach of your human rights and many other legal issues. If you’re not sure if that includes you, call us and find out. We can help you figure out what you need.

The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBA BC)

Many Dial-A-Law scripts have been updated. For a complete list of these resources, see their listings here (sorted by “last reviewed date”). The following scripts have been rewritten or partially rewritten:

West Coast Environmental Law

Their most recent works in strengthening environmental laws include the following recommendations and reports:

New & Updated Common Questions

With help from Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC), we have updated the questions on residential tenancy and added three new ones:

Common Questions help narrow down the resources people should start with. 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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September 2017 Events (Surrey, Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, BC-wide)

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.

  • September 6-19 (various dates): Access Pro Bono Advice-a-Thon:
    • September 6 (10am-2pm) Surrey
    • September 8 (10am-5pm) Vancouver
    • September 12 (10am-2pm) Kelowna
    • September 15 (10am-2pm) Victoria
    • September 19 (4-6pm) BC-Wide Telephone Clinic

Clients will be low-and modest-income individuals, including homeless people who may otherwise have limited access to traditional free legal advice clinics. Most clients will have pre-scheduled appointments, while others will simply drop in for free legal advice on a wide range of issues. We hope that with your support we can make this year’s event our most successful one yet! E-mail: help[at]accessprobono.ca

We offer Social Support and share legal resources in a confidential setting. This group is run by Self Represented Litigants for Self Represented Litigants. We have a great group with lots of experience to share! We meet monthly. RSVP at the following link: https://supportforcourt.ca/support-groups-2/british-columbia

  • Wednesday, September 13 (9:30am-12pm): The New Societies Act: What You Need to Know at 100 – 938 Howe Street, Vancouver.

There are more than 27,000 non-profit societies in BC, providing services and programs that touch virtually every citizen. All pre-existing BC societies need to transition to the new BC Societies Act. The Act includes many significant changes. There is a two-year transition period by which time all societies in BC will have to have filed a transition application. This workshop will provide your society with the information it needs on whether to make any bylaw or policy changes necessary for your society to transition to effectively function under the new Act. Details & registration for this workshop. Questions? administrator@lawfornonprofits.ca

  • Monday, September 18 (5:30-7pm): Amici Curiae’s newest Workshop – VPL at Alma VanDusen Room, VPL Central Branch, Downtown Vancouver.

Amici Curiae is excited to announce it is launching a new legal forms workshop in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library. This new workshop will ultimately be at the centrally located Oakridge Branch and will offer assistance with legal forms, including in the areas of: BC Court of Appeals (civil and family law matters); Supreme Court of BC Civil and family law matters; Provincial Court of BC affidavits; BC Human Rights Tribunal applications; and employment, tenancy and foreclosure matters.

Our free service is available to the public, including battered women, transgender persons, and Indigenous people. We will be hosting an information session and we invite you to come hear more about the services we will be offering at this new workshop. Please RSVP by e-mail to Yvonne Choi at YChoi@harrisco.com.

  • Wednesday, September 20 (1-2:30pm): Nidus logo_niduspresentation at 1420 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver.

Attend a free presentation conducted by a Nidus-trained volunteer. Learn about planning for incapacity and end-of-life. Find out how to book an appointment for personal help to make and register your planning documents. No registration required.

  • Thursday, September 21 (8:30am-5pm): 2017 Info Summit at UBC Robson Square Theatre, Vancouver.

Presented by: BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

Given the recent shift in the provincial political climate, we are pleased to announce that we are breaking away from the biennial tradition this year and will be hosting our 7th BC Information Summit on September 21, 2017 at UBC Robson Square. This is an important time in the information and privacy landscape. The change of political leadership in BC gives us the opportunity to bring much-needed attention to the major deficits in our access to information and privacy frameworks. Major changes are on the horizon in terms of the freedom of information systems at both the federal and provincial levels. Courts, committees and Commissioners have made major recommendations for change which would bring major changes to the system. This Conference has assembled a range of experts from varying backgrounds to look at these developments and what they might mean for information and privacy rights.

The “Her Everyday Resilience (H.E.R.) Multicultural Women’s Group” is a drop-in group that is held once a month from September to March (except December) for multicultural women who have experienced violence in relationships in their past or present. Hosted by MOSAIC’s Stopping the Violence Counselling and Multicultural Outreach Services, it’s free and confidential. If you know a woman who may benefit from this group, please share this information with her and encourage her to call the Women’s Support Worker at 604-254-9626 ext. 1081. If a woman isn’t yet ready to do group work, the STV Counselling program and Multicultural Outreach Services can also provide individual counselling support and outreach for those who have experienced, or are at risk of, abuse, threats, violence in relationships, sexual assault, or childhood abuses. Register online.

AMSSA is a unique province-wide association that strengthens over 70 member agencies as well as hundreds of community stakeholder agencies who serve immigrants and newcomers, and build culturally inclusive communities, with the knowledge, resources and support they need to fulfill their mandates. Celebrate their 40th anniversary. Register online.

For information, please contact Rita Hatina, Director of Finance & Administration, at 604-673-3125 or rhatina@clasbc.net

Stay informed:

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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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Access to Justice BC

a2j_logoAccess to Justice BC is British Columbia’s response to a national call for action to make family and civil justice more accessible. It is a forum to facilitate open communication and collaborative working relationships among justice system stakeholders.

The following entry is a cross-post from the Access to Justice BC website

By Mr. Justice Robert J. Bauman
The Honourable Chief Justice of British Columbia
Chair of Access to Justice BC


Welcome to the Access to Justice BC website. It is my sincere pleasure to launch what I anticipate will become a series of updates communicating the activities and progress of Access to Justice BC. I look forward to reaching people across our province who are interested in and concerned about the extent to which the civil justice system is accessible in BC. I want to provide information about what Access to Justice BC is doing about the problem, and to invite you to tell us how well we are doing.

In this posting, I will describe a bit about Access to Justice BC and explain what encouraged me get involved with the initiative.

Access to Justice BC started when a few of the province’s justice leaders and thinkers took to heart the recommendation of the National Action Committee to create a provincial forum dedicated to improving access to justice. The small group of people grew larger and came to involve the major legal institutions in the province, and eventually representatives from organizations outside of the justice system as well. The rationale for this broad membership is to foster an innovative, multi-disciplinary approach to the issue, hopefully leading to better ideas and a greater willingness to experiment (and to take risks).

Access to Justice BC got off the ground in 2015 with a handful of meetings addressing the processes that the group will follow and deciding on a first target for action within the civil justice system: family law. Running parallel to the full Access to Justice BC meetings have been a multitude of smaller sub-committee meetings, working on strategy, communications and planning issues.

The most recent full meeting of Access to Justice BC, which I will describe in more detail in a separate posting, took place in February of this year and put to the test the creative thinking and commitment of the group. A number of concrete initiatives were identified for exploration, and I will be reporting on these initiatives as they progress.

What drew me to join Access to Justice BC? Like many people involved in the civil justice system, I am sorely aware of its shortcomings. Don’t get me wrong; I’m also proudly aware of its strengths and successes. But when I see litigants struggling to navigate complex court processes on their own, or when I consider the unknown number of people in BC who, thwarted by the potential cost, don’t pursue their legal rights, I have to ask myself: is the justice system there for everyone who needs it? If not, what are we doing wrong? Are there minor fixes to address some problems, or is a complex overhaul required? Conversely, what aspects of the system (or of another system for that matter) are working well? Is there a way to transpose those successes to certain areas of civil justice or to scale them upwards?

Access to Justice BC does not pretend to have the answers to these questions. The access problem isn’t something that can be solved by a group of people thinking hard in a room. It is a complex problem that may require multiple innovative solutions and, in order to reach those solutions, some degree of trial and error. It will also take hard work and, yes, in some cases resources.

I hope that you will visit our website and follow our progress over the next year.

– Bob Bauman, Chief Justice of British Columbia


Stay informed with Access to Justice BC:

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SOPA program for Newcomers

sopa_pic
Click to enlarge

MOSAIC, a non-profit committed to empowering refugees and immigrants publishes a guide on legal issues for newcomers, and also operates a Legal Advocacy Program as well as a Legal Clinic for Temporary Foreign Workers.

MOSAIC now offers a Settlement Online Pre-Arrival program!

The SOPA program is for newcomers who are approved or in the process of applying to immigrate to Canada and settle in British Columbia.

SOPA provides free online facilitated and self-directed courses focusing on job search and communication skills to help prepare newcomers for Canada.

Currently, the following courses are offered:

  • Working in Canada (self-directed)
  • Canadian Workplace Integration (self-directed)
  • Job Search Strategies (facilitated)
  • Soft Skills: Working with Others (facilitated)
  • Soft Skills: Professional Communication (facilitated)

These courses will help newcomers to:

  • build realistic goals with the right tools for their job search;
  • establish a connection with employment programs and immigrant service providers; and
  • integrate to the local labor market and workplace with more ease.

If someone comes to you with questions about what resources are available for family members or friends who are not yet in Canada, but are in the process of applying to immigrate and settle in BC, go to http://arrivepreparedbc.ca to learn more about program eligibility requirements or email sopa@mosaicbc.com.

Stay informed with MOSAIC:

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Invite for Newcomer Youth from Across Canada

2015 Youth Action Gathering Conference – Vancouver. B.C. – Oct. 3 & 4

The Canadian Council for Refugees, in partnership with Vancouver Foundation’s Fresh Voices Initiative and MOSAIC, invite newcomer youth from across Canada to participate in the 2015 Youth Action Gathering Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The gathering brings together young immigrant and refugee leaders to learn, share, network and collaborate on actions towards common challenges and experiences of newcomer youth communities.

It is also an engaging weekend of leadership and skills building, developing peer relationships and FUN!

WHO Should Participate?

Everyone is welcome to apply; however, space is limited and priority will be given to:

  • Racialized* immigrant and refugee youth
  • Those who can make a commitment to attend the full event
  • Immigrant & refugee youth from across Canada, aged 16 to 25 years
  • Youth settlement workers and allies

*We recognize that race is a social construct, people as “racialized immigrant person” or “racialized people” are immigrants who also belong to a “racial minority”, “visible minority”, or are seen as “people of colour” or “non-White” (adjusted from OHRC).

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