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  • Writer's pictureElizabete Costa


Updated: Jan 17, 2019

Again, we all know, as counsel who do pro bono work, in addition to underpaid work, and very rare cases of properly paid work, that this NDP-Green Government would be the Government that would fix the problems poor people face when hiring a lawyer who will accept the legal aid rates. If not this Government, no Government will. I will give you my latest example of pro bono work on a legal aid file: I spent many email hours, and telephone calls hours, and court hours dealing with a matter set for trial this month. The client has major health issues that prevent him from being able to carry on with his trial scheduled for 4 -5 days. I got paid ZERO for all the hours I was involved trying to change the trial dates. Force me to do pro bono? No, thank you very much, any lawyer who takes legal aid files, MUST DO PRO BONO WORK IN ORDER TO SERVE HER/HIS CLIENTS PROPERLY. Now, add to that, the pro bono work that we 'saviour types/fight for justice types' do on a regular basis, for instance, soup kitchens, free legal advice, mentoring other lawyers, speaking at engagements for free, attending lectures and classes at high school level, college level, and university level for FREE... all my colleagues doing criminal defence work, family law work, child apprehension work, human rights related work, immigration work, with very few exceptions, do pro bono (work for free). Now, Honourable David Eby, do the honourable thing, and fix the legal aid system which has been frozen for decades. It is shameful. It is unfair. And it reflects very poorly on a Government that seems to want to fight for Human Rights/Indigenous Rights/Low Income and Homeless Persons Rights. Give us all voters a break. We work, we pay our taxes. We do not have millions sitting in our trust accounts. We do not make Government-type incomes. Why would a prosecutor be paid more than the person defending your son's rights in court? Why should a prosecutor make more money than the person representing your daughter in the Human Rights Tribunal? Why should taxpayers be content with a Justice System that is unjust and broken? You vote, you have a strong voice. Does anyone want the BC Libs back? very few do. Are we satisfied with the current Government's approach and apathy when it comes to the Justice Sytem? Heck no!

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