Jean Sorensen|Dec 1, 2011
Duty counsel in British Columbia will take collective job action against the B.C. government starting in January and completely withdraw services after April from a system described by B.C. Trial Lawyers Association’s legal aid committee co-chairman Phil Rankin as suffering from “atrophication that has been happening slowly like dementia” from continuous funding cuts.
Rankin, one of three speakers in Wednesday’s BCTLA-organized rally outside the Provincial Court building in Vancouver said many defence lawyers who represent individuals in legal aid cases were often “lone wolves” and difficult to organize. But, the fact so many had come forward to organize and attend the rally or were wearing the blue ribbon on their gowns was an indication of the growing frustration lawyers felt with the system.
The rally, which drew 100 lawyers in afternoon sunshine, was one of four held in B.C. with the others in Victoria, Kamloops, and Penticton.