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.

Stay informed:

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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

Charterpedia
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:

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October 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.

  • October 2017: Personal Planning Month: Getting your affairs in order gives you peace of mind and takes the burden off family and friends. It’s easy when you know the steps to take. Attend a free presentation, find out about Nidus’ free forms to make your own Representation Agreement. Nidus is an independent, non-profit, charitable organization that was set up by seniors and disability groups. Nidus is the Centre for Excellence on Representation Agreements and personal planning.
    • Provincial Interactive Webinars with Q&APublic libraries across BC are hosting Nidus presentations. Locations include: Castlegar, Duncan, Okanagan (Enderby, Armstrong, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Summerland), Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Trail, Thompson-Nicola, Victoria, Prince Rupert, Williams Lake.
    • Metro-Vancouver in-person presentationsWith the generous support of local seniors centres, neighbourhood houses and public libraries, Nidus-trained volunteers and staff are able to offer some in-person presentations in the Metro-Van area.
    • Webinars for ProfessionalsProfessionals need information and resources geared to their workplace role. Nidus is offering presentations for the following settings.

      Interested professionals should email info@nidus.ca for details.

Engaging Older Women in your Community is a promising practices tool developed as an outcome of the Older Women’s Dialogue Project (OWDP), a collaborative project between the West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (West Coast LEAF) and the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL). The publication is intended to support your agency to anticipate and address structural barriers to the participation of older women in community initiatives aimed at legal and policy change.

The tool includes key questions to explore, tips for enhancing organizational capacity to include older women, and examples from our experience throughout the OWDP. All of the ideas contained in this resource reflect what CCEL and West Coast LEAF learned through working with older women in Vancouver, BC.

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, but if you are a registered non-profit society delivering community 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. See registration link for details.

  • October 16-24 (Various Dates): People’s Law School presents several classes on the following topics in Surrey and Vancouver:
    • Monday, October 16 (7-8pm) Probating a Will – Surrey Libraries Ocean Park Branch
    • Tuesday, October 17 (7-8:30pm) Wills and Estates – Surrey Libraries Guildford Branch
    • Wednesday, October 18 (7-8:30pm) Residential Tenancy for Landlords – Surrey Libraries Newton Branch
    • Thursday, October 19 (7-8:30pm) Strata Law – Surrey Libraries City Centre Branch
    • Tuesday, October 24 (6:30-8pm) Immigration Law – What TPRs Need to Know – Dunbar Community Centre
    • Tuesday, October 24 (12-1pm) Your Tenancy Rights – People’s Law School

This year, PovNet celebrates twenty years of building an online community of advocates, social justice lawyers and other passionate front-line workers and supporters who are committed to supporting those living in poverty, while battling the systemic issues that drive people there. We would be so happy if you could join us to celebrate this milestone. We would also like to invite you to help spread the word about this event. We are so excited to be celebrating the work of PovNetters from all over BC and indeed right across Canada. The celebration will be held at the Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport, and will start with a short Annual General Meeting, followed by a few speakers and stories. We will have finger food and refreshments and there will be a cash bar. The location is within 1 block of the Aberdeen Canadaline station. We look forward to sharing this evening with you!

  • Tuesday, October 24 (12:30-1:30 PM): Litigating for Access: Suing the Government Over the Crisis in Legal Aid at Room 122, Allard Hall, 1822 East Mall, UBC, Vancouver.

Part of the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies’ Fall 2017 lecture series. Featuring West Coast LEAF’s Executive Director Kasari Govender and Litigation Director Raji Mangat.

Get your tickets now and spend an evening with your friends from CLAS and other familiar faces from the social justice community. Tickets are $20, plus service fee, online and $25 at the door. Space is limited so buy early. A full dinner menu will be available so stay for a drink or two and maybe even dinner. Either way, we want you to join us for a fun night. Thanks for supporting our organization as we work towards advancing dignity, equality and justice for all across BC. Tickets can be purchased here. Please direct any questions about the event to Dianne Bankay at dbankay@clasbc.net.

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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Organization of the Month | July 2017

This month, we feature Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS), a Clicklaw contributor.

Meet Samrah

Samrah Mian is the Intake Coordinator for the Community Law Program at CLAS. Samrah acts as the first point of contact for all clients and advocates accessing the Community Law Program’s services. She listens to their stories, gleans relevant information, helps clients gather documents from various sources in order to complete a program intake, and links clients and callers to other resources and referrals when appropriate. She also plays a role in community outreach, public legal education and research, and works towards program goals surrounding residential tenancy.

Thanks for talking to me today, Samrah. Can you tell me more about what you do?

I was hired about a year ago at CLAS, in a newly created position, intended to streamline and simplify intakes with the hope that clients could quickly reach someone who would be able to help them immediately and that this would lessen the load on the rest of the program staff.

What I truly appreciate is the diversity of the work that my job involves. I’ve been given the opportunity to become involved in public engagement, conducting research and learning more about poverty law topics that interest me.

Can you tell me more about what your Community Law Program (CLP) is working on?

Besides providing direct services to hundreds of people every year, we’re involved in a number of systemic advocacy actions.

Our program is active in lobbying for changes to residential tenancy laws and procedures at the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB). We supported the new legislative amendments that allowed tenants fleeing family violence to be able to end their fixed-term tenancies early and we actively work with the RTB to improve practices.

Outside of residential tenancy, our recent work includes a case that resulted in the repeal of discriminatory income assistance policies and we are currently challenging the validity of forced psychiatric treatments under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We also intervened at the Supreme Court of Canada in a human rights case that will determine whether the BC Human Rights Tribunal can deal with complaints of workplace harassment involving co-workers, customers, contractors and other non-supervisory personnel in the workplace.

Very cool to hear. What about your direct services? When should people refer to CLP?

Here’s a handy chart:

A good time to refer to CLPNot a good time to refer to CLP
Your client has received an Order of Possession from the Residential Tenancy Branch and is required to leave their homeYour client has received a Notice of Eviction from their landlord
After a co-op board meeting, your client’s membership has been terminatedYour client is receiving letters from their co-op that threaten to cancel her membership if she doesn’t comply with their terms
Your client has been served with court papers from the bank holding the mortgage in the house that they live in Your client has missed a mortgage payment
Your client has received a decision from the Workers Compensation Appeal TribunalYour client has received a decision from a WCB officer
Your client has received a decision from the Social Security Tribunal or the Employment and Assistance Appeal TribunalYour client has been told that they are not eligible for income assistance by a government branch such as the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (now Social Development and Poverty Reduction)
Your client has had a human rights tribunal hearing and lost the hearingYour human rights claim has been accepted and you are seeking representation (in this case, the Human Rights Clinic would be a good referral)
Your client has received a decision from the Employment Standards TribunalYour client is being harassed by their employer and want to file a complaint with the Employment Standards Branch
Your client has received a decision from the Mental Health Review Panel or is being detained under the Adult Guardianship Act or has been issued a Certificate of Incapability under the Adult Guardianship ActYour client has been involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act (if they have applied for a review panel hearing, they can apply to the Mental Health Law Program for representation)

Fantastic. I think that will be an excellent tool for people to have when making referrals. Anything else CLP is working on that you’re excited about?

We’re currently building self-serve website called BC Judicial Review Self-Help Guide where self-represented litigants can walk through the judicial review process and download templates that will make it easier for them to file for a review. In the past, this used to be a very long PDF but we’ve updated it to make it easier to follow. We’re also making different ‘streams’ for different legal issues. We currently have the residential tenancy and workers’ compensation streams up and we’ll be working on human rights and some other tribunals soon.

What’s the biggest misconception that people have about CLP?

One big misconception is that we can represent all clients in all types of legal matters for free!

The legal services that we provide through the Community Law Program are free of charge but, in reality, our program mandate is limited. We’ve done some work to spread awareness about this fact but we still get the occasional phone call from a client who wants our help in suing their dentist.

Our primary intake criteria is assisting low-income clients resolve their legal disputes when they have a decision from an administrative tribunal in the areas of work-related legal issues, human rights, government benefits, housing, and mental health law. In addition, we can also help individuals when their co-op membership is terminated, we can provide advice to low-income homeowners when their house is being foreclosed upon and we can help with certain situations in regards to adult guardianship.

CLAS serves the entire province of BC, and our other programs include the BC Human Rights Clinic, the Community Advocates Support Line and the Mental Health Law Program.

Thanks for clearing that up. I hope this helps spread the word, and better connects people to CLAS.

Me too. Speaking of connecting, we are holding our Working CLAS Blues fundraiser on October 26, 2017. If you’re in the lower mainland, we’d love it if you could join us for a night of music, dancing and social justice. Contact Dianne Bankay dbankay@clasbc.net for more information.

Sounds like fun. Last question–what’s something you enjoy when you aren’t working?

I volunteer at Battered Women’s Support Services Family Law Information Clinic along with a team of legal interns. I also spend time reading contemporary literature and listening to HowStuffWorks podcasts.

Stay informed with CLAS:

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June 2017 Events (Online, Vancouver, 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.

  • Tuesday, June 6 (10am-12pm): Usability Testing: A Way to Enhance Your PLEI Resources A workshop at the Law Foundation of BC offices in Vancouver. In developing a public legal education and information resource, usability testing is an excellent way to learn about how people might use your resource and to improve its ease of use and effectiveness. There are several usability testing methods, many of which are increasingly affordable even on small projects. This workshop will share the range of methods in the usability testing toolbox and when to apply each method.
  • June 7-14 (various dates): Nidus logo_niduspresents online webinars & an in-person presentation on Personal Planning

Wednesday, June 7 (11:30-12:30pm) Online Webinar: Live Demo of the Personal Planning Registry. Register Online.

Wednesday, June 14 (11:30-12:30pm) Online Webinar: Planning for Health Care & Personal Care. Register Online.

Wednesday, June 14 (1:00-2:30pm) In-Person Presentation: Planning for incapacity and end-of-life. No Registration required. At South Granville Seniors Centre, 1420 West 12th Avenue (between Granville & Hemlock) in Vancouver. Held in lounge on 3rd floor.

Wednesday, June 28 (11:30-12:30pm) Online Webinar: Planning for Financial & Legal Matters. Register Online.

  • June 13-28 (various dates): Courthouse Libraries BC presents various online webinars open to advocates and community workers:

Tuesday, June 13 (12:30pm-2:00pm): Working More Effectively with Clients Who Have Mental Health Issues.
Advocates around BC report they are increasingly providing services to clients with complex and multiple barriers. In this 1.5 hour webinar offered jointly with PovNet, Kristi Yuris and Kris Sutherland will provide practical strategies aimed at increasing each advocate’s capacity to work more effectively with clients with mental health issues. NOTE: This Webinar is now sold out. There is space in our in-person group viewings at the Vancouver (800 Smithe St) and Kamloops (455 Columbia St) library locations. Please email training@courthouselibrary.ca to register for an in-person viewing or to be added to our waitlist for the webinar.

Monday, June 19 (12:30-1:30pm): Civil Resolution Tribunal: BC’s New Online Tribunal (An Update).
The online Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is resolving strata property disputes, and as of June 1, will also begin accepting small claims disputes under $5,000. In this 1 hour webinar hosted jointly with the Civil Resolution Tribunal, Shannon Salter will walk you through the CRT process including some changes specific to small claims disputes and discuss the use of CRT since inception. She’ll also answer your questions about how to help your clients using the CRT.
Register online.

Wednesday, June 21 (12:30-1:30pm): Representing Your Client at a Hearing of the Mental Health Review Board.
In this one hour webinar offered jointly with Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS), you will hear from Diane Nielsen and another legal advocate of CLAS. This webinar will assist lawyers and advocates in representing people who are involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) at Mental Health Review Board (Review Panel) hearings to review their involuntary detention.
Register online.

Wednesday, June 28 (12:30-1:30pm): Clicklaw Refresher for Libraries & Community Helpers.
This one hour webinar is aimed toward community helpers and public library staff. LawMatters Coordinator Shannon McLeod and Clicklaw Coordinator Audrey Jun will be reviewing how to search Clicklaw for reliable legal information specific to BC as well as how to use Clicklaw Wikibooks and the Clicklaw Helpmap to make better referrals.
Register online.

  • Wednesday, June 21 (starting at 6:30pm): BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) holds their Annual General Meeting at the YWCA Hotel in Vancouver. The AGM is your chance to hear about their work, elect BC FIPA board members, and talk about some of this year’s most important freedom of information and privacy issues. It will feature a talk by Sinziana Gutiu about the current climate for information and privacy issues in BC and what BC’s new political climate could bring. RSVP to fipa@fipa.bc.ca.

Stay informed:

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2017 Bi-Monthly Update Series: March/April

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

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


Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia

  • Navigator for Youth Transitioning to Adult Services
    Youth with disabilities in BC face challenges when transitioning from childhood to adult services. This program helps youth aged 14 to 25, their parents and members of their Transition Support Teams, connect with the services they need, such as disability benefits, health services, or school supports.

Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

Disability Alliance BC

The following help sheets are now available in 5 languages: Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Persian, Punjabi, Spanish.

Legal Services Society

Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry

People’s Law School

Each of the following publications now has a fresh new look, new content, and more practical guidance. Both are available in multiple media formats: wikibook, EPUB (for reading on a tablet or e-reader), PDF (print version), and printed booklet (order via Crown Publications).

  • Essentials of Consumer Law
    Explains consumer rights for common purchases and contracts. Now includes a new section on making a contract.
  • Scams to Avoid
    Covers 15 of the most common scams. Now includes new sections on romance scams, charity scams, and expanded coverage of online and computer scams.

Provincial Court of British Columbia

  • Guidelines for Using a Support Person in Provincial Court
    Many self-represented litigants find that having a trusted friend or family member with them to provide emotional support, take notes, and organize documents can be a big help. The BC Provincial Court recognizes this, and has adopted guidelines to make it easier to bring a support person to court.

Common Question – Provincial Court Resources for Everyone: Small Claims Court

On June 1, 2017, the limit for small claims will increase to $35,000 from $25,000. This page has been updated to include this information and a link to the New Small Claims Procedures from the Provincial Court of BC. Note: The Provincial Court Resources pages will be updated for May 2017.

Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL)

  • Older Women’s Dialogue Project
    This project looks at law and social policy issues that affect older woman and explores what can be done to address barriers to their quality of life.
  • Older Women’s Legal Education Project
    A collaboration with West Coast LEAF, this project tries to enhance the capacity of seniors-serving professionals to support older women fleeing violence occurring in the family and to inform older women of their rights in situations of abuse.

Stay informed:

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2016 Bi-monthly Update Series: September-October

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 September and October:

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


connected-car-coverThe Connected Car
by BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association

The report outlines how data culled from vehicle telematics and infotainment systems can be used for safety, monitoring, customer relationship management etc. Yet some data harvested from cars can also be used to track and profile customers for marketing and other purposes.

starting-a-small-business-in-bc-coverStarting a Small Business in BC Guide
by BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour

This 2016 edition is an introductory guide to help you with planning, implementing, and developing a small business. It provides essential information you need to know as well as links to additional resources to help ensure that your new business is successful.

cpabc-logoLegal Workshop videos
by Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia

The videos from CPABC’s legal workshops include topics such as workplace discrimination, victims of crime, and rights for youth in transition.

clas-logoBC Judicial Review Self-Help Guide
by Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

Have you received a decision from the BC government or a tribunal (decision maker) that you think is seriously flawed or unfair? After you have gone through all your appeal options within the system, you may be able to ask a judge to review the decision.

CLAS has a guide for people who are representing themselves in a judicial review. We have now updated and modified this guide into a web-based form where users can navigate through the judicial review process for their selected tribunal. This website gives an overview of options that people have, step-by-step information about filing court documents, and templates that people can use when self-representing in Court. The website also allows people to get in touch with CLAS lawyers to ask for information and advice about their situation.

dabc-logoBC Disability Benefits Help Sheets
by Disability Alliance BC

As of September 2016, Disability Alliance BC has fully updated their Help Sheet series to reflect the changes to the PWD benefit, including a rate increase and changes to the BC Bus Pass Program.

emilys-choice-coverEmily’s Choice
by Legal Services Society

Emily’s Choice uses storytelling and images to describe child protection. Co-produced with the Healthy Aboriginal Network, the video and graphic novel tell the story of Emily, who struggles with addiction and an unhealthy relationship. She loves her son, Greg, but can’t always take care of him. When he goes into foster care, she gets legal help and family support to get him back.

The webpage provides links to the video, trailer, online version of the graphic novel, ordering information, who can help, and promotional material.

the-factum-logoThe Factum
by Legal Services Society

The Factum is a Legal Services Society blog about the law in British Columbia and how people can navigate the legal system. While it talks a bit about all aspects of the law, it focuses mainly on how the legal system affects people who can’t afford a lawyer.

Civil Resolution Tribunal- BC’s New Online Tribunal0000crt (Webinar recording)
by Civil Resolution Tribunal and Courthouse Libraries BC

This webinar focused on the recent changes to the strata dispute process brought about in the Civil Resolution Tribunal Amendment Act and served as an introduction to the CRT’s resolution services (including guides, videos and sample document templates) and their Solution Explorer software tool.

 

Stay informed:

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Residential Tenancy Rights: Where to go for help?

apb_bannerBy Priyan Samarakoone
Program Manager, Access Pro Bono

The BC housing crisis has been fairly well documented in the news as of late and its ripple effect on subsidized housing is slowly rearing its ugly head. BC’s most vulnerable tenants are those hit the hardest by this trend.

It is commonly known that BC’s social housing providers are not able to keep up with the demand. As a result, many low-income tenants seek accommodation through private landlords in basement suites and split houses to cover the shortfall of available housing. This has provided a workable bridge to a long-term housing solution. Unfortunately, there is no long-term solution in sight. New property owners are faced with higher debt and some are unable to afford to rent out their new homes at the existing low rent. These landlords opt to move-in close family members or undertake significant renovations to force existing tenants out. Other new homeowners prefer to maintain the property for investment purposes and choose not to make them available on the rental market.

The increased market value of rental suites have also resulted in some Corporate Landlords having little tolerance for long term tenants who are effectively rent controlled under the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA). Tenants who have previously had little to no conflict with regards to their suites find themselves battling their landlords over minor lapses that weren’t strictly enforced in the past, such as being a day or two late in paying rent. These factors have combined to cause a spike in eviction notices being served on tenants in the recent months.

The RTA provides some safeguards but has an ultimate two-month notice period for landlords to end tenancies for their personal use of the property. The Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), when dealing with such disputes, enforces strict deadlines and there are other technical steps involved in submitting evidence. It is imperative in this type of tribunal settings to get all the evidence required for the dispute before the arbitrator so that the issue may be correctly decided. If the evidence is not correctly submitted and an error is made at the tribunal, the prospect of success on a Judicial Review is significantly impaired. Unfortunately some landlords and tenants caught in this situation are unaware of their rights and uncertain of what resources are available to assist them deal with evictions. The RTB provides some information and so do organizations like the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC), but not enough is available by way of representation at RTB hearings.

Access Pro Bono (APB) has consulted with various stakeholders, including PovNet, TRAC, the UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program (LSLAP), and the Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) to assess the need for additional representation services. Although the existing non-profit organizations are providing invaluable assistance, additional legal representation services are imperative, as significant numbers of people are still unable to secure free legal advocates for hearings before the RTB.

With the assistance of TRAC and CLAS, APB is creating a program tailored to facilitate pro bono representation by lawyers and other legally trained advocates to low-income individuals (tenants or landlords) appearing before the RTB. APB will be launching our Residential Tenancy Program on August 31, 2016. This information will be made available via the Clicklaw HelpMap.

Clients interested in accessing our services will be subject to the standard intake protocol and will have to meet our income threshold. To determine eligibility please visit www.accessprobono.ca.

Lawyers interested in joining our RTP can contact APB at 604.482.3195 ext. 1513.

Please refer to the resources below for additional assistance.

Information on Tenancy Law

  • APB’s Summary Legal Advice Program: 604.878.7400 or 1.877.762.6664.

Representation

Stay informed with Access Pro Bono:

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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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