March 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.

Join us for a book launch of Robyn Maynard’s Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present. The book is a comprehensive account of nearly four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization, and punishment of Black life in Canada. Get more information hereBC Civil Liberties Association is a sponsor of the event.

  • March 1-12 (various dates): Plan Institute presents information sessions and workshops by phone and in Vancouver:
    • Thursday, March 1 (7:00 – 9:00 pm) OR Thursday, March 15 (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.
    • Tuesday, March 6 (7:00 – 9:00 pm) Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – teleseminar by phone/computer. Cost: free. Register online here.
    • Monday, March 12 (7:00 – 9:00 pm) Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – Plan Institute Office, Suite 260 – 3665 Kingsway, Vancouver. Cost: free. Register online here.
  • Friday, March 2 (12:00 – 1:30 pm): Disability Alliance BC presents Snack & Chat at #204 – 456 West Broadway, Vancouver.

On PWD or interested in PWD? Come learn about disability benefits and meet new people! Please call Val at 604-875-0188 to register or email Registration required. Find more information here.

  • March 2-9 (various dates): Courthouse Libraries BC and LSS present free webinars on various topics.
    • Friday, March 2 (12:00 – 1:30 pm) Interjurisdictional Support Services: What’s New in ISO? – will outline recent changes to the BC Interjurisdictional Support Services, the IJSS website and the ISO forms. Register online here.
    • Tuesday, March 6 (12:30 – 1:30 pm) Refugee Law Basics – for lawyers and advocates who have minimal or no experience in refugee law. Register online here.
    • Friday, March 9 (12:30 – 1:30 pm) Gladue Submissions: A Guide to Preparing Gladue Sentencing – for criminal defence lawyers and front line workers who may be assisting a client in preparing for criminal court. Register online here.
  • March 2-29 (various dates): MOSAIC presents 2-day workshops on Canadian Citizenship Preparation in Burnaby, Vancouver, and Surrey.

Join us for a 2-day workshop to prepare for Canadian citizenship! The session will be facilitated by MOSAIC staff. We will talk about topics such as Canada’s history, symbols, government and geography, as well as the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Register online here.

  • March 3-29 (various dates): the BC government is hosting community meetings across the province to help inform its Poverty Reduction Strategy.
    • Saturday, March 3 ( 9:30 am – 12:00 pm) 221 West Esplanade, North Vancouver
    • Saturday, March 10 (10:30 am – 1:00 pm) Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre, Vancouver
    • Saturday, March 17 (10:30 am – 1:00 pm) Best Western Plus Coquitlam Inn Convention Centre, Coquitlam
    • Tuesday, March 20 (6:00 – 8:30 pm) Heritage Hall, Vancouver
    • Thursday, March 22 (5:30 pm – 8:30 pm) Fort Nelson Aboriginal Friendship Society, Fort Nelson
    • Friday, March 23 (1:30 pm – 4 pm) North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St. John
    • Monday, March 26 (2:30 pm – 5 pm) Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre, Maple Ridge
    • Tuesday, March 27 (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm) Langley Senior Resource Society, Langley
    • Wednesday, March 28 (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm) Garden Park Towers, Abbotsford
    • Thursday, March 29 (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm) Coast Hotel, Chilliwack
  • March 6-20 (various dates): Centre for Feminist Legal Studies presents lectures and a symposium at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
    • Tuesday, March 6 (12:30-1:30pm) – Shauna Labman, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba – 24 Years Later: A Comparative Analysis of the Immigration and Refugee Board’s Gender Guidelines (1993) and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Guidelines (2017) – Room 122 in Allard Hall, UBC Vancouver. Open to everyone.
    • Friday, March 9 (1:30–6:00 pm) – A symposium in honour of Professor Judith Mosoff and launch of a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Family Law – Terrace Lounge, 4th Floor, Allard Hall, UBC Vancouver. RSVP to
    • Tuesday, March 20 (12:30-1:30pm) – Sarah Hunt, Geography/First Nations and Indigenous Studies, UBC – Decolonizing Access to Justice for Indigenous Women: Reflections on an Inquiry in Process – Room 122 in Allard Hall, UBC Vancouver. Open to everyone.

Join us for this special event with Jonathan Wilkinson, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. This event is part of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs’ new Policy in Practice series. Register online here or email

Two of UVic’s leading Indigenous scholars, John Borrows and Val Napoleon, will discuss the sacred in Indigenous law and reconciliation. They are key figures in UVic’s proposed dual-degree program in Canadian law and Indigenous law. In this conversation, they will explore the nature of Indigenous law and pose important – and challenging – questions about the role of the sacred. This is a free event, and everyone is welcome. Registration is required.

  • March 8-9 (various dates): Seniors First BC presents a couple of workshops for seniors in Burnaby.
    • Thursday, March 8 (4:00 – 5:30 pm) Government Benefits for Older Adults Workshop – Burnaby Public Library – Tommy Douglas branch
    • Friday, March 9 (10:00 – 11:30 am) Powers of Attorney, Joint Bank Accounts and Representation Agreements Workshop (delivered in Mandarin) – CCM – Crystal Mall, Burnaby

Celebrate West Coast LEAF and International Women’s Day all in one fantastic morning! Keynote speaker: Roberta A. Kaplan, history-making litigator and champion of the marriage equality fight at the US Supreme Court. Emcee: Gloria Macarenko, CBC News host. Buy ticket here.

  • March 9-24 (various dates): People’s Law School presents several classes for the public on the following topics in Burnaby, West Vancouver, and Vancouver:
    • Friday, March 9 (7:00 – 8:30 pm) The Societies Act: Information for Not-For-Profits – Burnaby Public Library – McGill Branch
    • Tuesday, March 20 (6:30 – 8:00 pm) Writing Your Will – Dunbar Community Centre, Vancouver
    • Thursday, March 22 (7:00 – 8:30 pm) Strata Homeowner Survival Guide—Tips for Avoiding Problems with Your Strata Corporation – West Vancouver Memorial Library
    • Saturday, March 24 (2:00 – 3:30 pm) Employment Law – Burnaby Public Library – Tommy Douglas Branch

What if someone is not capable to make a Will? This might be a senior with advanced dementia; or an adult with a disability from birth or childhood that affects their capability to understand the nature and effect of making a Will. Who has legal authority for burial or cremation if there is no Will? How must the estate (what the deceased owns) be distributed? Find out what you can and cannot do according to BC law. You will also learn about Personal Planning and how it is different from Estate Planning. Click date to register:

With environmental pressures mounting in Canada and worldwide, the need for strong environmental laws has never been more important. As a respected lawyer and Leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May will share her unique perspective on the legal profession and the evolving legal landscape in Canada. Free admission.

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. The fee is $50. City of Vancouver Bursaries available. Get more information and register online here.

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. Spaces are limited – RSVP by email:

  • March 23-29 (various dates): Courthouse Libraries BC and the Pro Bono Students Canada Family Law Project present free public education sessions for self-represented litigants in Vancouver and online.
    • Friday, March 23 (10:30 am – 12:00 pm) Family Law Financial Disclosure in BC – Vancouver Courthouse Library & also available as a webinar. For self-represented litigants who are applying or responding to an application for child support, spousal support, or property division and will need to complete financial disclosure. Get more information and register online here, or email
    • Thursday, March 29 (10:30 am – 12:00 pm) Family Violence – Vancouver Courthouse Library & also available as a webinar. self-represented litigants who are experiencing family violence. Get more information and register online here, or email

Stay informed:


Top 7 Pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks

While we would prefer a world in which no British Columbian needs online help for their legal troubles, the pageview count for our Clicklaw Wikibooks website confirms that is not the world we live in. In reality, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians seek out timely legal information in the course of an average year. For many, this is their only line of support.

In 2017, Clicklaw Wikibooks — which uses the same software that runs Wikipedia — served nearly 940,000 pageviews to over 550,000 individual users. Each year we see these figures growing.

Whereas Clicklaw is a comprehensive legal information website centralizing reliable resources and services from numerous contributor organizations in a variety of formats and languages, Clicklaw Wikibooks is more like a publishing platform. It offers a bookshelf of select legal titles from organizations and independent authors or teams of contributors. These books are for the public and can be read online, downloaded as PDF or EPUB, or ordered by print-on-demand.

The most popular way for visitors to consume the 26 or so titles currently on Clicklaw Wikibooks is to read them online. Usually when we report traffic statistics, we think about the book as a whole. For example, JP Boyd on Family Law is easily the most read title in the collection accounting for about 40% of traffic. But today we look a little deeper to see what the 7 most popular content pages were on Clicklaw Wikibooks for January 2018, give a shoutout to those responsible for their review, and see what insights this data allows.

Surprisingly, for instance, while the overall traffic to JP Boyd on Family Law hints that relationship breakdown as the major legal concern, individual page stats reveal the most popular page from that title is on how to get married in the first place. Looking at the top performing pages can give us clues and help us question assumptions about the types of legal information people need.

Top 7 Pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks by Pageviews

Here is a list of the top seven pages on Clicklaw Wikibooks, the people responsible for their upkeep, plus some thoughts on what this might mean. The list reflects statistics from January 2018, plus relevant changes in a page’s position from January 2017. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts in the comments section below, or by sharing them with us on Twitter @Clicklaw.

#1 – If You Receive an Appearance Notice or Summons (Script_210)

This page from the popular Dial-A-Law collection by CBA BC attracted 5.18% of total site traffic, up from second position and 2.83% the previous January. That is an incredible figure for a site with over 1,500 pages of legal information. Many people first come into contact with the criminal justice system when they are served with an appearance or summons, so we can well imagine finding this page is a first step for many in addressing their problem. Knowing the significance of that step, what else could the page do or point to?

Kudos to lawyers Jordan Allingham and Paul Briggs for writing the page, plus Annie Chen of the CBA BC for the wiki version of this much valued resource.

#2 – How Do I Get Married in British Columbia?

As noted, JP Boyd on Family Law’s most popular page in January had nothing to do with getting divorced. Quite the opposite in fact… 2.82% of visitors came to learn about how marriage is brought to be, rather than how it decays. The page is up from #4 position in January 2017.

Thanks to lawyer Thomas Wallwork for maintaining this page, and of course to JP Boyd himself for his original work on it.

#3 – I Need to Take Someone to Court — What’s the Process?

A significant percentage of first time exposure to the legal system is when someone needs to start a lawsuit. The page attracted 2.43% of traffic, up from #6 position in January 2017, a rise quite possibly related to the Civil Resolution Tribunal’s introduction in 2017.

Long time Clicklaw Wikibooks editor and experienced lawyer John Bilawich deserves credit for this popular page from Legal Help for British Columbians that introduces the basics of starting a civil claim. So does the founding author Cliff Thorstenson. 

#4 – JP Boyd on Family Law

While the book has over 140 pages and accounts for 40% of site traffic, historically the main entry page for JP Boyd on Family Law has not been among top site pages (in January 2017 it was #13). This year, there appears to be more traffic from direct links to the book’s main page from websites run by LSS, the BC Provincial Court, private law firms, etc. Although overall the percentage of traffic coming from Google to the whole site has not changed over this period, a disproportionate amount of traffic to this main page now comes from referral sources. This speaks to the overall value of the title and the work of its many reviewing lawyers that make it a destination resource for others in the justice sector.

#5 – Immediately After Someone Dies

This page from People’s Law School’s title, A Death in Your Family, accounted for 1.81% of all site traffic last month. The equivalent page in January 2017 held #12 position at 1.59%.

Thanks to Helen Low, QC and Nicco Bautista for their skill abbreviating the legal and practical steps to take upon the death of a family member.

#6 – My Husband Sponsored Me and We Have Now Separated

For years, this page from Legal Help for British Columbians was the top destination page on Clicklaw Wikibooks with 2.86% of traffic. In 2017 it dropped to #3 and 2.65%. Today it’s settled at #6 position with 1.81% of traffic. Nearly 90% of this traffic comes from Google searches.

Thanks to Rochelle Appleby for reviewing this page over the years, and to its original author Cliff Thorstenson.

#7 – How Do I Prepare an Affidavit?

Up from #8 position in January 2017, this page from JP Boyd on Family Law accounted for 1.54% of traffic in January 2018. It continues to demonstrate the demand for practical, hands-on tips, and the fact that it derives a substantial greater proportion of its traffic from people who link to the page directly (34% versus the site average of 10% for pages) hints that this is a valuable bookmark for people.

Thanks again to Thomas Wallwork for reviewing the page over the years, and to JP Boyd for the original content and practical examples of how to write an affidavit.

Editor’s Note: Though these were the most viewed pages/titles on the Wikibooks over the past year, our other pages and titles also received an incredible amount of views. Thank you to all of our contributors and volunteers, whose work makes this initiative possible.

Stay informed:


Improve your online safety

Today is Safer Internet Day (SID). We wanted to showcase an online tool that can provide practical advice for safer internet use — for everyone.

Security Planner provides recommendations on implementing basic online practices, such as: enabling two-factor authentication on important accounts, making sure software stays updated with the latest bug fixes, and using encrypted chats to protect private communications.

This is a project of the Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary group based at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. Security Planner recommendations are made by a committee of experts in digital security and have gone through a rigorous peer review evaluation of experts from universities, nonprofits, and the private sector.

The people at Citizen Lab realize that “we now count on digital tools to keep our information safe and a growing slice of our private life…private. There are big questions about whether the devices and services we use respect our privacy and if they adequately safeguard our information. Has a good balance been struck? Many of us are not sure. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenge of how to be safer online.”

We went inside the Security Planner tool in order to show you what to expect. Take a look:

The main page gives you a clear call to action to start.

Continue reading »

February 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.

  • February 1-28 (various dates): Seniors First BC presents several workshops for seniors in Pender Harbour, Sechelt, Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Richmond.
    • Thursday, February 1 (1:00-3:00pm) Advance Care Planning against Elder Financial Abuse – Pender Harbour Community Hall, Madeira Park
    • Thursday, February 1 (6:30-8:30pm) Advance Care Planning against Elder Financial Abuse – Seaside Centre, Sechelt
    • Tuesday, February 6 (1:00-2:00pm) Powers of Attorney, Joint Bank Accounts and Representation Agreements – Thunderbird Community Centre, Vancouver
    • Thursday, February 15 (1:00-2:30pm) Powers of Attorney, Joint Bank Accounts and Representation Agreements – Glen Pine Pavilion, Coquitlam
    • Wednesday, February 28 (1:00-3:00pm) Bullying between Older Adults in Communal Settings – Richmond Public Library – Brighouse branch
  • February 1-20 (various dates): Plan Institute presents information sessions and a workshop by phone and in Vancouver:
    • Thursday, February 1 (10:00am-12:00pm) 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, February 7 (10:00am-12:00pm) Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – teleseminar by phone/computer. Cost: free. Register online here.
    • Tuesday, February 20 (10:00am-12:00pm) Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) – Plan Institute Office, Suite 260 – 3665 Kingsway, Vancouver (Feb 20). Cost: free. Register online here.
  • February 1-17 (various dates): the BC government is hosting community meetings across the province to help inform its Poverty Reduction Strategy.
    • Thursday, February 1 (6:00-8:30pm) Princess Margaret Secondary School, Surrey
    • Friday, February 2 (2:30-5:00pm) Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, Williams Lake
    • Saturday, February 3 (10:00am-12:30pm) Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre, Quesnel
    • Thursday, February 8 (4:30-7:00pm) Senior Citizens Hall, Cranbrook:
    • Friday, February 9 (1:00-3:30pm) TBD, Nelson
    • Saturday, February 17 (1:30-4:00pm) Prince George Native Friendship Centre, Prince George

The door opens half an hour early and a hot meal will be provided. Supports are available to help you participate. Get more information here.

  •  February 5-20 (various dates): People’s Law School presents several classes for the public on the following topics in Burnaby and Vancouver:
    • Monday, February 5 (7:00-8:30 pm) Employment Law – Burnaby Public Library – Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch
    • Thursday, February 15 (7:00-9:30pm) Probating a Will – Burnaby Public Library – McGill Branch
    • Thursday, February 15 (7:00-8:30pm) Writing Your Will – Burnaby Public Library – Tommy Douglas Branch
    • Tuesday, February 20 (6:30-8:00pm) Residential Tenancy for Landlords – Dunbar Community Centre, Vancouver

Open to everyone. Speakers: Ayesha Chaudhry, Canada Research Chair in Religion, Law and Social Justice, University of British Columbia, and Sarah Khan, BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre.


Join us for a free public talk on the BC Supreme Courts decision to end indefinite solitary confinement. Panelists will be unpacking the decision, its impact on prison justice and mapping what’s to come. Get more information here.

A conversation with BC’s most distinguished public-sector jurist on Child Protection, Conflicted Premiers, the Suppression of Protests, and the Public Interest. Ted Hughes will be interviewed by CBC journalist Laura Lynch, with special guests David Eby, QC, Attorney-General of BC; Maureen Maloney, SFU, former Deputy Attorney-General of BC and Dean of Law at UVic.

This event is free and open to everyone.

The march honours the lives of missing and murdered women and all women’s lives lost in the Downtown Eastside. March begins at Main Street and E. Hastings, Vancouver. Get more information hereBC Civil Liberties Association supporters will congregate in front of RBC at 11:45 AM.

  • February 14-15 (various dates): Law for Nonprofits presents workshops in Vancouver and Cranbrook.
    • Wednesday, February 14 (9:30 am-12:00 pm) Privacy 101 at BC Alliance for Arts + Culture, Vancouver. The fee is $50. City of Vancouver Bursaries available. Get more information and register online here.
    • Thursday, February 15 (6:00-7:30pm MST) Societies Act Transition Workshop at College of the Rockies – Cranbrook Campus. Free for societies who have registered with the East Kootenay Transition Hub. Get more information and register online here.

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. Spaces are limited – RSVP by email:

We would like to invite you to attend our 2018 Post-Valentine’s Dance Fundraiser. This fundraiser is a community-building event that will be attended by caregivers, migrant workers, and their friends. Your attendance contributes towards advocating on behalf of some of the most precarious workers in our province, and your solidarity contributes to ensuring justice for all workers. As well, we will be celebrating the launch of our organization’s new name—the Migrant Workers Centre! Get more information and buy your tickets here.

This year, on Pink Shirt Day, a national day of bullying prevention, YWCA Metro Vancouver and Hootsuite have partnered to host #Cyberbullying, a discussion exploring how race and gender are connected to cyberbullying. Join us for an interactive panel discussion that will feature experts, advocates and youth discussing the root causes, effects, and themes surrounding cyberbullying. One of the speakers will be Dr. Wanda Cassidy from SFU Centre for Education, Law and Society. Register online for this free event here.

Stay informed:


Organization of the Month | January 2018

New Website

Courthouse Libraries BC (CLBC) has just launched a refreshed website to provide you with better service:

It’s awesome because it now has:

  • Search with precise and relevant results
  • Navigation that makes sense
  • A snappy new look and feel

User-centred approach

The whole process started over a year ago. As an organization committed to meeting the needs of our clients, we conducted interviews with lawyers to discover how they were using our website. Among other things, these interviews uncovered:

  • How effectively the website delivered service.
  • How effectively the website enabled legal research.
  • The most common complaints and areas for improvement.

We took this valuable feedback into consideration when we started work on refreshing the site.

Changes we made

We made some of the biggest changes to the areas of the site that let users help themselves. Search was completely overhauled – clients are no longer left sifting through hundreds of confusing results. Searches of the library catalogue and the website are more precise, and the results are more relevant. We also improved how clients can browse the site. The new website is clean, easy to use and simple to navigate for lawyers and the public.

Resources and services we provide

If you are just getting started in your legal research, the CLBC website is a great place to start. Not only does the new site allow clients to find what they are looking for faster, it houses resources like Our Legal Knowledge Base, our answers to clients’ particularly difficult legal questions. This resource continues to grow as we add new items and update older ones.

Members of the public are welcome to use our digital tools, which include links to self-help websites, Clicklaw and Clicklaw Wikibooks, as well as LawMatters, the program that supports legal collections in all public libraries in BC.

If you have a question or would like to get pointed in the right direction with your legal research contact us by phone, email or in person.

About Courthouse Libraries BC

Courthouse Libraries BC is a non-profit that serves the legal community, the judiciary and the public of BC. Our mission is to help lawyers, the legal community and the public find and use legal information. Our vision is that everyone in BC has access to the legal information they need and the ability to use it. The CLBC website is the heart of the Library’s online presence. It houses the library catalogue, awesome content created by our staff, legal information training resources, and explains our services, mission, and policies. It also provides access to subscription databases to members of the Law Society of BC.

The CLBC website can be found at

Stay informed with Courthouse Libraries BC:


2017 Clicklaw & Wikibooks Survey Results

The 2017 Clicklaw and Clicklaw Wikibooks website user surveys ran for two months, from late October to late December. Here are some highlights from the survey results:

What stayed constant

  • Demographics – the majority (over 55%) are still people with legal questions, then those who are assisting others.
  • The reasons for visiting – to find legal information, then to find a person who can help.

Highlights for Clicklaw

  • Over a quarter of all respondents to the survey identified as Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs) or were helping a SRL.
  • In hindsight, did Clicklaw increase users’ legal understanding and help them move forward to solutions? Yes, increasingly so. We saw:
    • 13% increase in those who strongly agreed that the information increased their understanding of a legal question or issue, and
    • 5% increase in those who strongly agreed or agreed that the information helped them take next steps.
  • There was a 10% increase in those who strongly agreed or agreed that they were able to find the information quickly and easily.

Highlights for Clicklaw Wikibooks

  • Did people find the info they were looking for in a Wikibook? Increasingly, yes. 4% more people strongly agreed or agreed, and those who disagreed or strongly agreed dropped from almost 19% in 2015, to less than 6% in 2017 – a more than 13% drop.
  • Was Clicklaw Wikibooks easy to use? Overwhelmingly, yes. 78% agree or strongly agree that the website was easy to use – a 7% increase since 2015. Fewer than 2% of users disagreed or strongly disagreed that the site was easy to use – an improvement from the almost 12% of users in 2015 who found the site hard to use.
  • Over 71% agreed or strongly agreed that Clicklaw Wikibooks helped them take next steps.

Comments from Users

There were also some great comments from users. We are promoting these through our social media channels, and I am sharing some of them here:

Continue reading »

2017 Bi-Monthly Update Series: November/December

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

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

Legal Services Society

  • Gladue Submission Guide
    This new, plain language booklet for Aboriginal peoples explains how to prepare a Gladue submission to help the judge decide bail or sentencing. Includes a Gladue factors checklist and a worksheet to help Aboriginal peoples, lawyers, and Native courtworkers gather information needed to prepare a submission.
  • Your Gladue Rights
    This revised booklet explains Gladue rights, rights under the Criminal Code that apply to anyone who identifies as Aboriginal. Gladue rights can apply at bail and sentencing hearings.
  • Sponsorship Breakdown
    This updated booklet is for permanent residents who need help when the person sponsoring them in Canada is no longer supporting them.

Provincial Court of BC

  • CFCSA flowchart (Child Protection Matters)
    Chart shows possible stages and orders in child protection proceedings under the Child, Family and Community Service Act, with notes – statute sections are hyperlinked to the Act.
  • Criminal Case Flowchart
    Stages in a Criminal Case: These notes provide more information about criminal procedure – the procedures set out in the Criminal Code of Canada to be followed in criminal cases.
  • BC Provincial Court Common Questions
    General information about the Provincial Court and the BC justice system.

Disability Alliance BC Help Sheets Update

The following help sheets on BC’s disability benefits have been updated:

Small Claims Trial Preparation Clinic
by Seniors First BC

Are you a senior representing yourself in a Small Claims Court proceeding? Call 604-336-5653 to find out more about this Trial Preparation Clinic. A lawyer will call you back to assess if the clinic is able to assist.

Mothers Without Status
by YWCA Vancouver

This updated booklet is for service providers assisting “mothers without status”. It now has new content on MCFD and has been updated for immigration and Family Law Act changes.

Financing Litigation Legal Research Project
by British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI)

The paper reviews six financing models to pay for litigation: unbundled legal services, third-party litigation funding, alternative fee arrangements, crowdfunding, legal expense insurance, and publicly funded litigation funds. It also discusses 18 ideas on how to enhance the use of each model.

Operating in Darkness: BC’s Mental Health Act Detention System
by Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

Mental health detentions in BC have increased dramatically over the last ten years. This report reveals several disturbing practices and points to a number of deep flaws in the BC Mental Health Act that do not comply with the rights guaranteed by the Charter and international human rights law.

2017 CEDAW Report Card
by West Coast LEAF

The annual CEDAW Report Card grades BC’s compliance with United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). BC’s record of action and inaction in the past year is assessed in nine key areas impacting the rights of women and girls.

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project

by the Government of Canada

Charterpedia provides legal info about the Charter and contains information about the purpose of each section of the Charter, the analysis or test developed through case law in respect of the section, and any particular considerations related to it. Each Charterpedia entry cites relevant case law.

Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family

Stay informed:


December 2017 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.

Register online here.

From Courthouse Libraries BC & PovNet. This webinar is aimed at legal advocates.

Effective communication with a client can be difficult to achieve under ideal circumstances, let alone if your client has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Individuals affected by FASD are at a higher risk of being involved with the law and the court system. Understanding the communication difficulties common among individuals with FASD can go a long way towards trying to minimize negative and repeated encounters with the legal system. Our presenters, Robyn Matthews and Myles Himmelreich, will be providing some insight on how FASD can affect communication with a client and practical tips for effective communication with clients with FASD. Robyn Matthews is the Family and Community Support Coordinator with the Asante Centre and Myles Himmelreich is a well-known motivational speaker on FASD, having presented nationally and internationally for many years, sharing his experiences in living with FASD.

This webinar is made possible with the financial support of PovNet and is intended to assist legal advocates and lawyers working in the area of poverty law. While we invite advocates and lawyers from all areas of practice to participate in this webinar, we would appreciate it if you can indicate if you practice in the area of poverty law to assist us in funding more webinars like this in the future. Register online at the link above.

Register important information and documents and make them available to the people and institutions who need to know. For example, register a Representation Agreement, Enduring Power of Attorney and other details related to personal or estate planning. Be prepared in case of a natural disaster such as a wildfire, flood or earthquake — register documents you can use during the disaster and to re-build your life afterwards. Register online at the link above.

Fee is $50. If you are a registered non-profit society delivering community social social services within the geographical boundaries of the City of Vancouver, you may be eligible to receive a bursary to assist you with all or part of the workshop registration fee. Get more information here.

Stay informed:


Organization of the Month | November 2017

This month, we feature Consumer Protection BC, a Clicklaw contributor.

Consumer Protection BC is a provincial regulator that licenses several sectors (see Infographic below) and offers information and referrals to people in BC.

Meet Laura

Laura Cox is the Manager, Licensing and Information Services at Consumer Protection BC. Her team handles the licensing of all the sectors that Consumer Protection BC oversees, and also offers assistance to consumers.

What has surprised you most about working with your organization?

I joined our organization in 2012. It is surprising to see how many consumer calls and emails we receive which are outside of our mandate. We work really hard to provide consumers with the best possible referral, but in some cases the referral is to a lawyer, or court.

As a regulator, we oversee three different Acts, and many sectors. It was overwhelming to see how much I would need to learn.

It seems like that’s a widely held misconception–that you can help with any consumer issue.

[I think that because of our name] people assume we can help with any consumer issue, but that’s just not the case. We oversee specific laws and can only help when a potential violation of that law has occurred. This is why my team works so hard to ensure we have the right referrals for consumer issues that fall outside of our mandate.

What are some common referrals that you do make?

One of our top referrals is to the Vehicle Sales Authority–they oversee the retail sales of vehicles sold through licensed dealerships.

We also refer a lot of consumers to the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Service (CCTS)–they can help consumers who have an issue with a cell phone, landline, cable, TV, or internet provider.

We have a page designated on our new website for our top referrals. To learn more about other agencies who can help consumers within BC visit our referral page here.

Do you have any interesting stories of clients you’ve helped in the past year?

Here’s a story we shared in our annual report (names and some details have been changed to protect privacy):

It was time to get his chimney fixed, so Eddy hired a masonry company to do the repairs. After quite a delay in getting any work done, the masonry company tried to convince Eddy he had a mould problem in his house and they could help. Eddy had a background in the trades and knew there was no mould problem. This was a red flag for him so he decided to cancel the contract and get his deposit back. Something just didn’t feel right. When the business owner stated all deposits were non-refundable, Eddy got nervous. “I’m pushing 80,” says Eddy, “and [the owner] was fighting me on this tooth and nail. At one point, I had to order him off my property.”

That’s when Eddy decided to reach out to Consumer Protection BC to see if they could help. It was determined the business didn’t have all the required content in their contracts and Eddy was within his rights to cancel. Consumer Protection BC’s involvement resulted in a full refund. Eddy stresses the importance of practicing due diligence when hiring someone to do work on your house and to make sure you ask around about the company’s reputation. “Normally I am very careful with these kinds of things,” Eddy says. “But sometimes you get caught off guard. I’m thankful things turned out the way they did.

That’s a great story. What else do you regulate in addition to consumer contracts?

We are responsible for enforcing the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act, and the Motion Picture Act, and the related regulations. Here is a helpful infographic that shows the sectors we license and regulate:

Thank you for sharing with us today, Laura. Last question–what are you most excited about, recently?

Our new website launch is really exciting! On top of this we continue to work on an online portal for our licensees. This will allow them to accomplish more online, which will save them time; they will also be able to make changes and renew their licenses really quickly.

Stay informed with Consumer Protection BC:


November 2017 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.

  • Wednesday, November 1 (6-7:30pm): Fashion Without Limits: Diversity in Motion at 644 Bentley Road, Port Moody: the Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia will mark Canada’s 150th anniversary with Fashion Without Limits: Diversity in Motion, a multi-disciplinary showcase of the disability community. Our community celebration of diversity in honour of Canada 150 will feature: Adapted ballroom dancing, an adapted fashion show, and the launch of our new Assistive Equipment Fund to honour our two most active and boundary-pushing members: Jason Cole and Rand Surbey. This free, inclusive event will includes refreshments and networking opportunities with community members and organizations. We are excited to bring together members of the disabled community in an inclusive cultural event to share in the inspiration and accomplishment of our members.
  • November 4-10 2017: Conflict Resolution Week: Everyone has their own story during a conflict. It feels like we’re right and they’re wrong – we’re the victim or hero and they’re the villain. There’s Another Story – explore how mediation, unlike fairy tales, has creative and fair options to resolve conflict. Mediators can help you uncover that story and will be out across the province to share some of their tips and skills with you. Check out the Conflict Resolution Week calendar to check out events in Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver, and online.
  • November 7-22, 2017 (Various Dates): People’s Law School presents several classes on the following topics in Burnaby, Salmon Arm, and Vancouver:
    • Tuesday, November 7 (12-1pm) Communication Toolbox—Tips on Communicating With a Co-Parent – People’s Law School
    • Tuesday, November 14 (6:30-8pm) Wills and Estates – Okanagan Regional Library – Salmon Arm Branch
    • Tuesday, November 21 (7-8:30pm) Wills and Estates – Burnaby Public Library – McGill Branch
    • Wednesday, November 22 (7-8:30pm) Power of Attorney – Burnaby Public Library – McGill Branch
  • November 8-29, 2017: Nidus presents various online webinars and an in-person presentation in Vancouver:
    • November 8, 11:30am-12:30pm – Online Webinar – Planning for Health Care & Personal Care – 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?
    • November 15, 1-2:30pm – South Granville Seniors Centre (3rd floor, 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.
    • November 29, 11:30am-12:30pm – Online Webinar – Planning for Financial & Legal Matters – 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.
  • Friday, November 17 (3:45-6pm): Legal Workshops-Mental Health in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities of Youth with Disabilities at 451-409 Granville St., Vancouver: The Cerebral Palsy Association of BC is proud to host a new workshop series titled Mental Health in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities of Youth with Disabilities This workshop series will address the issues of mental health in the workplace for youth with disabilities. The workshops will be given by Lou Poskitt from Miller Titerle Law Corporation and Kemily Ho from Tevlin Cledle Curtis Employment Law Strategies. Food and refreshments will be provided. To register for these workshops contact Lindsay at or call 604-408-9484.
  • Wednesday, November 29 (7:30pm): Battered Women’s Support Services Presents Angela Davis at the Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver: Angela Davis has spent decades as an activist, author and scholar expressing ideas that remain at the forefront, on important issues of race, women’s rights, capitalism and justice. Private reception is now sold out but excellent seats are still available. Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of the most enduring feminist icons live in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory.

Stay informed: