Legal Programs for Seniors

by Seniors First BC

Seniors First BC Society (Seniors First BC) provides pro-bono legal services to older adults age 55+ who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.

We may provide legal services for issues such as:

  • Residential Tenancy/Housing
  • Debt
  • Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • Assisted Living/Residential Care
  • Discrimination
  • Abuse/Neglect
  • Financial Abuse
  • Adult Guardianship
  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Representation Agreements

Seniors First BC accepts calls from older adults and people who care about them from anywhere in BC. To speak to a lawyer, contact the Seniors Abuse and Information Line at 604-437-1940 or toll-free 1-866-437-1940 and one of our lawyers may be able to assist.

We also offer free in-person legal consultations for older adults in Richmond, New Westminster, Surrey, Burnaby, North Vancouver and Vancouver once a month. To book an appointment at one of our legal clinics, contact 604-336-5653.

For more information about our legal programs, visit our website.

What we do

Our legal services include:

  • meeting with one of our pro-bono legal staff;
  • receiving summary advice;
  • receiving unbundled services such as drafting of documents;
  • receiving full legal representation; and/or
  • getting connected to other useful resources in the community

What we don’t do

Seniors First BC does not provide assistance in all areas of law. We do not give advice on criminal law or family law matters.

For support and resources for older adults on non-legal matters, such as housing and health, please call the Seniors Abuse and Information Line at 604-437-1940 or toll-free 1-866-437-1940.

Contact us

For more information, including requests to book a legal appointment, please call 604-336-5653 or email info@seniorsfirstbc.ca

Stay Informed with Seniors First BC:

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June 2018 Events (BC-wide, Online)

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.

  • June 1 – 5 (various dates): the provincial government presents various events as part of Victims and Survivors of Crime Week in Canal Flats, New Westminster, Victoria, Skidegate, and Old Massett. See more details and contact info for each event here (PDF).
    • Friday, June 1 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) Information on services available for victims & survivors of crime – Base Camp Coffee, 4957 Burns Ave., Canal Flats
    • Friday, June 1 Integrated Support for Victims of Sexual Violence Symposium – Justice Institute of British Columbia, 715 McBride Blvd., New
      Westminster
    • Saturday, June 2 (6:35 pm) Domestic Abuse Awareness Project – Royal Athletic Park, 1014 Caledonia Avenue, Victoria
    • Monday, June 4 (6:00 – 8:30 pm) Transforming the Culture (film & discussion) – Haida Heritage Centre Kay Linagaay Sea Lion Town/Skidegate
    • Tuesday, June 5 (6:00 – 8:30 pm) Transforming the Culture (film & discussion) – Tluu Xaadaa Naay Longhouse, Old Masset
  • June 4 – 6 (various dates): Courthouse Libraries BC and Access Pro Bono present two webinars for current and prospective volunteers with Access Pro Bono. Advocates and front-line workers are welcomed to join.
  • June 4 – 28 (various dates): the provincial government’s Rental Housing Task Force is hosting public meetings in 10 locations across BC throughout June.

The Task Force invites rental housing providers, renters, housing advocates, and stakeholders to attend a 3-hour facilitated workshop in their community. They are seeking input to identify solutions and ideas for making recommendations to modernize BC’s tenancy laws and policies. Find the location closest to you and register online here.

  • Tuesday, June 5 (9:30 am – 12:30 pm): Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) presents Preventing, Investigating and Responding to Workplace Sexual Harassment at the CLAS office in Vancouver.

This three-hour interactive workshop will help you understand your legal obligations to prevent, investigate and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace. The course is accredited for 3 hours of Continuing Professional Development credit by the Law Society of BC. Workshop fee is $100 per person. If you are a non-profit organization and the fee poses a barrier, please contact us to discuss alternative arrangements. Get more information here (PDF).

  • June 5 – 6 (various dates): Law for Nonprofits presents various workshops in Cranbrook and Vancouver.
    •  Tuesday, June 5 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm MDT) Recordkeeping and Privacy for Non-Profits – College of the Rockies, Cranbrook. Free to non-profit organizations within the West Kootenay/Columbia Basin area. Get more information and register online here.
    • Tuesday, June 5 (1:00 – 3:00 pm MDT) The New Societies Act: What You Need to Know – College of the Rockies, Cranbrook. Free to non-profit organizations within the West Kootenay/Columbia Basin area.  Get more information and register online here.
    • Wednesday, June 6 (9:30 am – 12:00 pm) The New Societies Act: What You Need to Know – the Alliance for Arts + Culture, Vancouver. The fee is $50. City of Vancouver Bursaries available. Get more information and register online here.
    • Wednesday, June 6 (1:30 – 4:00 pm) Employment and Human Rights 101 Workshop – the Alliance for Arts + Culture, Vancouver. The fee is $50. City of Vancouver Bursaries available. Get more information and register online here.
  • June 5 – 13 (various dates): Plan Institute presents information sessions and workshops by phone and in Vancouver.
    • Tuesday, June 5 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – Plan Institute Office, Suite 260 – 3665 Kingsway, Vancouver. Cost: free. Register online here.
    • Thursday, June 7 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning Workshop – Plan Institute Office, Suite 260 – 3665 Kingsway, Vancouver. Cost: $65.00 per person or $90.00 for two. Register online here.
    • Wednesday, June 13 (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – teleseminar by phone/computer. Cost: free. Register online here.
  • June 6 – 7 (various dates): People’s Law School presents two classes on Wills and Estates for the public on the following topics in Burnaby and Port Moody.
  • Tuesday, June 12 (5:00 – 9:00 pm): the Kettle Society presents 2018 Making a Difference Fundraiser at The Permanent, Vancouver.

Come to celebrate The Kettle Society’s inspired mental health work at an evening to benefit our core service programs. Taking place at The Permanent, one of Vancouver’s most stunning heritage spaces, each guest will enjoy a complimentary themed cocktail and delicious food from The Lazy Gourmet. Cocktails and conversation will lead to a performance by The Kettle Choir, and our keynote speaker Lieutenant-General, the Honourable Roméo Dallaire (Ret’d) speaking on Mental Health and Invisible Wounds. Get your tickets here.

Please join us in our new space at 1720 Grant Street to meet our staff and learn about our programs. RSVP info@scyofbc.org.

Celebrate 20 years of welcome, belonging, and opportunity that is Kinbrace Community Society (1998 – 2018). Get more information and register online here.

Join FIPA staff, board, members, and others in the information and privacy community at FIPA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting. The event will feature a talk by Vincent Gogolek who will be reflecting on his time with BC FIPA. Get more information here. To register, send an email to fipa@fipa.bc.ca with your name, email, phone number, and membership status.

  • Wednesday, June 20 (5:45 – 7:00 pm): YWCA Vancouver presents 2018 AGM & Tuning In: Examining Trends on Millennials, Masculinity and Gender Equality at  UBC Robson Square, Vancouver.

Please join us for YWCA Metro Vancouver’s Annual General Meeting. We are excited to welcome Shachi Kurl, Executive Director of the Angus Reid Institute, to deliver a keynote that will examine trends on millennials, masculinity and gender equality. Get more information and register online here.

  • Friday, June 29 (12:30 – 2:00 pm): Disability Alliance BC presents Snack & Chat: Filing Income Taxes – Tips and Benefits at #204 – 456 West Broadway, Vancouver.

Come to DABC’s 3rd Snack and Chat, and learn about income tax filing and the benefits of filing your income taxes. To register, please contact Val at 604-875-0188 or feedback@disabilityalliancebc.org. Lunch will be provided. Get more information here.

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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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

The Power of Attorney Project Podcast Feature: Law Reform – from a BC Perspective

What is the Power of Attorney Project?

two year technology-based project funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, that aims to educate adult children and seniors about Power of Attorney issues. In their Podcast series, legal, financial and social service experts share their knowledge and give individuals and families an opportunity to increase their understanding and to help them deal with some of the complex and difficult issues of aging.

The B.C. Perspective

nidus_UNenable
B.C.’s Representation Agreement Act inspired Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

One of Clicklaw’s core contributors, Joanne Taylor, Executive Director of Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry, was recently featured in a podcast. She explains B.C.’s unique legal tools that empower people in B.C. to plan for the future.

Nidus was founded by citizens and community groups who were involved in the community-based reform of British Columbia’s adult guardianship legislation. Nidus is currently the only community-based resource in Canada devoted to personal planning. Its existence sets British Columbia apart as a leader in addressing the critical needs of an aging population.

Nidus is the expert on Representation Agreements, which are a legal model for supported decision making.  B.C.’s Representation Agreement Act inspired Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (2008) which calls on governments to implement legislation that ensures all adults receive support with decision making without the need to take away or restrict their rights. The Convention has been ratified by Canada.

Listen to the Podcast here. Conversation topics discussed include:

  1. What is Nidus?
  2. What is Nidus’s role?
  3. What legal documents are available in BC to plan for incapacity?
  4. Is it true that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities looked to the Representation Agreement Act of BC for inspiration when it was drafted?
  5. What is the Nidus Personal Planning Registry and could you give us an example of how families can use it?

Webinar-Icon-Orange1-300x281September is Personal Planning Month