Creating Civil Legal Aid Funding sign now

PETITION TO THE SENATE OF CANADA

for the increase of funding to the provinces of civil legal aid and for urgent consideration by the House of Commons of Bill C-438, which was read the first time in 2003 before falling off the order paper.

We, the undersigned residents of Canada, draw the attention of the Senate of Canada to the following:

Whereas this government has not addressed the issue of underfunding of civil legal aid, despite the previous government's four-time increase of funding to the provinces;

Whereas this government has not addressed the issues of fragmentation --which impedes on an individual's right to privacy in such context and representation in certain issues which may not be covered --and disproportionate impact to Canadians who are disabled, Canadians who are single parents, women and immigrants,

Whereas civil legal aid funding is camouflaged under Canada Health and Social Transfer payments, thereby not neccessarily granting funding for the purpose of representing Canadians in civil law matters,

Whereas family and civil legal aid services are being eroded because we have to address rising criminal legal aid demands on a flat-lined federal budget,

Whereas an individual has the right to legal services, upheld by Canada's consitutional obligbations to its people,

Whereas this government must show urgency and change in the issue of unequal legal representation for low-income Canadians,

Whereas civil legal aid funding must be distributed directly through a fixed budget, instead of allocating general funding to the provinces, which then pool the monies into other areas of health care, thereby leaving civil legal aid peniless.

Therefore we, the undersigned residents of Canada, call upon the Senate to urge the Government of Canada to:

1. Allocate a federal budget strictly for the use of civil legal aid representation to low-income Canadians;

2. Cease the diversification of the Canada Health and Social Transfer payments to compensate for civil legal aid,

3. Create a budget geared to the specific increase of federal funding to civil legal aid throughout Canada;

4. Provide sensitivity training to recruited lawyers paid through civil legal aid, thereby protecting the rights and the privacy of low-income Canadians who require such aid.

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Ila VillaBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
Government of Canada

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