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"There is no justice without access to justice."

The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin

Our Work

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2021 Grants

British Columbia - $60,000 

Access Pro Bono Society of British Columbia will develop and operate a virtual public interest legal clinic (the “Clinic”) to serve as an experiential learning centre for articling students, and as an incubator for legal practitioners providing affordable legal services to underserved communities across BC. In its one-year pilot phase, the Clinic will employ up to ten supervising lawyers and one administrator to remotely train, supervise and support twenty-five articling students over two six-month semesters.  

This pilot project aims to increase access to justice by increasing availability and affordability of unbundled legal services to respond to unmet legal needs of underserved and marginalized communities in BC. The project also provides an alternative pathway to professional entry that favours applicants from equity seeking groups and prioritizes experiential and hands-on client service.  

Quebec - $60,000 

Canadian Council for Refugees – Conseil canadien pour les réfugiés aims to support non-government organizations serving immigrant and refugee communities to provide high-quality services to their clients who have law-related problems in areas that intersect with immigration and refugee law. The key deliverables of the project will be a collection of best practices and customizable policies that organizations can put into place and a short paper that outlines options for a system for tracking, monitoring, and supporting the work. 

This collaborative national project will enhance access to justice and will build capacity among non-profit organizations to provide legal high quality legal services in a much-needed area of law.  

British Columbia - $60,000 

Justice for Girls Outreach Society (Justice for Girls) aims to improve access to civil justice for teenage girls nationally in response to all forms of violence, human rights, and Charter violations. This project has a two-pronged approach of identifying strategic litigation and policy improvement options while drawing attention to systemic and practical barriers to access to justice.  

Justice for Girls will undertake legal research to examine current jurisprudence and statutes to assess which torts and remedies offer the most promise for achieving justice. Justice for Girls will draw upon its organizational experience to identify systemic barriers and on the lived experience of teenage girls to identify practical barriers that inhibit access to justice for teen girls. Justice for Girls will propose solutions to remove these barriers through policy and professional education. 

British Columbia - $25,040  

Environmental assessment (EA) is a crucial decision point in environmental law. Legislative reforms to EA legislation by British Columbia and Canada implemented in 2019 purport to address deficiencies in accessing both procedural and substantive environmental justice. This project, led by Associate Professor Jocelyn Stacey, will examine whether British Columbia and Canada’s legislative reforms have improved opportunities for marginalized communities and equity-seeking groups to participate in and influence environmental assessment decisions.  

In close collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Assessment Research and its community partners, this project will gather baseline data on who is seeking to access EA to advance environmental justice, what types of environmental justice concerns are raised, and whether and how these concerns are responded to and resolved through the EA process. The baseline data collected on the implementation of these revised EA regimes will be shared through existing partnerships and new relationships with Indigenous communities and equity seeking groups to inform reform proposals to better fulfill the access to (environmental) justice objectives of EA. 

Saskatchewan - $32,338.75 

CREATE Justice, USask College of Law, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, and its project partners will undertake research to determine how best to deliver accurate, accessible, and understandable online legal information to diverse user groups, particularly newcomer communities in Saskatchewan. The project will develop materials in a variety of formats and evaluate how best to communicate legal information and processes to different groups of people. The project will apply user-testing and evidence-based approaches to the development of online legal education materials and self-help tools for wills (powers of attorney and advanced health-care directives) and estate administration processes for newcomer communities.