WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon has reached a new funding agreement with the Yukon Legal Services Society (YLSS) that will ensure the operating costs of legal aid programs and services are fully covered.
“More core funding, as well as provisions for additional support in exceptional circumstances, will increase the stability of the legal aid program,” Minister of Justice Mike Nixon said. “The government continues to demonstrate commitment to working with the YLSS to fund services that improve access to justice for low-income, vulnerable and disadvantaged Yukoners.”
Under the new funding model, the Department of Justice will work with the society to make sure that consistent, ongoing funding is provided to cover the projected $2.1-million operational budget. The model will be more responsive to demonstrated expenses and should alleviate cost pressures that have been addressed in the past by one-time funding increases.
“The Yukon Legal Services Society is encouraged by this funding announcement,” executive director Nils Clarke said. “This collaborative, predictable budgeting approach will ensure that many at-risk and marginalized Yukoners continue to receive quality and timely legal assistance and are able to access our wide range of services."
Legal aid services in the Yukon are provided by the YLSS 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 YLSS to provide eligible Yukoners with legal aid services in certain types of criminal, civil and family court proceedings.
The society also provides poverty law services (including advice and representation regarding employment insurance, social assistance benefits, and landlord and tenant matters) through its Neighbourhood Law Centre.
Learn more: Legal aid