Newcomers and the Law

pls-new-wikibooks-april-2014For newcomers to Canada, there are some new and updated resources that explain every day legal issues from the People’s Law School:

  • Learning about the Law Wikibook covers the fundamentals of how the law affects your family, young people, seniors, employment, and housing.
  • Driving in BC explains the basics of driving and the law. It includes legal information for people learning to drive.
  • Paying Taxes explains to newcomers and new taxpayers what taxes we’re expected to pay, who we pay taxes to, and how to pay them.
  • Workplace Bullying and Harassment explains what workers, employers, and supervisors need to know and do about workplace bullying and harassment, and where you can get help or more information.

All of these titles are now available as part of the expanding collection on Clicklaw Wikibooks. Clicklaw Wikibooks are collaboratively developed, plain language legal publications that are born-wiki. They are easy to read on your screen, fully searchable, and hyperlinked to key resources. One of the benefits to the Clicklaw Wikibooks platform is that it offers you a choice of format. You can:

  • read the information online on the Clicklaw Wikibooks site,
  • download and print the publication as a PDF,
  • download the publication as an EPUB — a popular ebook standard — and read on an ereader, tablet or mobile device, or
  • for a fee, order your own print on demand copy of the publication.

A free print compilation of these and other People’s Law School wikibooks will be distributed to ESL learning centres and public libraries in BC, under the title Learning about the Law: Extended Edition. This project was made possible with funding support from the Province of BC and Government of Canada.

Law Related ESL Lessons


Educators who work with newcomers, youth and adults have an updated resource to help teach basic concepts about the law. Law-Related ESL Lessons is a set of lesson modules on legal topics, designed for English language classes for newcomers to Canada. Developed by People’s Law School and LISTN (formerly ELSA Net), in collaboration with Courthouse Libraries BC, this resource features downloadable instructional packages at varying Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) levels, together with assessment tools for instructors. The lesson modules include online quizzes that learners can take to assess their understanding, and online videos to support more dynamic learning.

Lesson topics include:

  • Fundamentals of the Law,
  • Consumer Law,
  • Elder Law,
  • Family Law with content on marriage, separation, divorce and family violence,
  • Working in BC including workplace bullying and harassment,
  • Paying Taxes,
  • Driving in BC,
  • Renting a Home,
  • Scams to Avoid,
  • Talking to the Police and
  • Youth and the Law

These lessons are the latest addition to the Learn & Teach section on Clicklaw Wikibooks.

The Law-Related ESL Lessons project was made possible with funding support from the Province of BC and Government of Canada.