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Update on funding of legal aid cases

On Friday, LSS board chair Tom Christensen and I met with Attorney General Suzanne Anton, QC, Deputy AG Richard Fyfe QC, and Assistant Deputy Minister Jay Chalke QC.

As a result of developments at that meeting and discussions with the executive committee of the LSS board, I can provide assurance that LSS will be able to pay accounts for all existing referrals to the end of the fiscal year. Consequently, LSS is no longer recommending that lawyers avoid booking hearing dates for legal aid work from February 17 through March 31, 2014.

We continue, however, to face a significant cost pressure in criminal tariff services and our discussions with government are ongoing. Unless they are relieved, these pressures will require LSS to significantly reduce some important client services for a period of time between November 2013 and April 2014. We anticipate a decision and announcement on these other restrictions in the near future.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to making justice work in BC. We will keep you apprised of developments.

Mark Benton
Chief Executive Officer

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