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Commission into B.C. legal aid services launched Add to ...

As more funding flows to legal aid services in Manitoba and Ontario, a public commission has been created to examine "drastic reductions" in legal aid funding in B.C.

The B.C. branch of the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of B.C. and four other legal groups have launched the Public Commission on Legal Aid.

It will be led by well-respected senior lawyer Len Doust, who will hold a series of public hearings across B.C., although a schedule has not yet been set.

Following the hearings, Mr. Doust will compile his findings into a set of recommendations to be submitted to the provincial government.

The commission comes just weeks after lawyers in Kamloops ended a four-month legal aid boycott aimed at protesting the closure of several regional legal aid offices in B.C.

Manitoba boosted funding to its legal aid program in May, while Ontario pledged a fee increase for its legal aid lawyers in January, but B.C.'s attorney-general recently insisted there was no more cash to improve access to legal aid in this province.

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