Do you think everybody should have fair access to our justice system? Do you think every individual has a right to be treated fairly before the courts? If you’re like most Albertans, you probably do.
It’s just too bad that the PC government doesn’t feel this way, because right now our Legal Aid system is in crisis due to a whopping funding shortfall of about $12 million per year, which they refuse to do anything about. This means that a great many Albertans who desperately need legal aid are unable to get it.
Now, I don’t think I’m revealing any great secret when I say our justice system is a very costly thing to navigate, beyond the resources of many, many Albertans.
Alberta Legal Aid exists to help those individuals – the single mom fighting for her kids, the student who has been kicked out of his apartment, or the abused spouse who finally left. It is meant to be the equalizer that guarantees fairness.
Sadly, this PC government has so underfunded Alberta Legal Aid that it is now on the brink of disaster. Inflation, coupled with years of underfunding have so limited Legal Aid’s capabilities that an Individual on Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped now makes too much money to qualify for their services! And those who do receive legal services are often required to pay back the costs of their legal representation.
When people are denied access to legal services, they have no choice but to represent themselves. This, in turn, leads to costly delays and appeals. In fact, study after study confirms that properly funded Legal Aid not only pays for itself, but in fact saves our system money.
Alberta Liberals are calling for an immediate $12 million increase to Alberta Legal Aid’s yearly budget, bringing their total budget to $70 Million.
Alberta Legal Aid is broken and this government has a duty to fix it. SIGN OUR PETTION to demand that they do.