WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon has agreed to add an additional $200,000 to the Legal Aid budget for 2013-14 to ensure the program has sufficient funds to meet its objectives.
“The Legal Aid program in Yukon is efficient and well-run but it has been facing cost pressures in each of the past three years,” Minister of Justice Mike Nixon said. “These funds will assist Legal Aid in meeting its funding requirements for the remainder of this fiscal year.”
The Government of Yukon provided Legal Aid with a one-time funding increase of $180,000 in the 2010-11 year to cover high-cost cases before the courts. It also provided $235,000 in additional, one-time funding to cover Legal Aid’s high-cost cases for the 2011-12 year.
“In addition to the increase of $200,000 to cover this year’s additional costs, I have directed the Department of Justice to work with the Yukon Legal Services Society to review the budgetary requirements for Legal Aid going forward and to report back to me prior to the end of the calendar year with recommendations,” Nixon added.
Legal aid services in Yukon are provided by the Yukon Legal Services Society under the authority of the Legal Services Society Act. The society is governed by a board of directors who are appointed by the Minister of Justice.
The act allows the society to provide eligible Yukoners with legal aid services in certain types of criminal, civil and family court proceedings.
In addition, the society also provides poverty law services (i.e., advice and representation regarding employment insurance, social assistance benefits, landlord and tenant matters, etc.) through its Neighbourhood Law Centre.
For more information about Legal Aid visit legalaid.yk.ca.