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arrest, detention, and wrongful conviction. We have deemed it essential
that we make our best efforts to ensure that each and every one of us can
be confident that we live in a society where we will never be punished
for something that we did not do, nor will any of our family, friends, associates,
or fellow members of our society.65
Finally, the provision of essential public services such as legal aid is a
governmental responsibility. If we, as a society, are serious about protecting
against wrongful convictions, then our government should make resource
allocation decisions that reflect that commitment. The province has
recently taken important steps in the right direction, but there is still a long
way to go. Let us keep moving toward a better justice system.
1. See Marg Bruineman, “Steady Optimism – 2019
Legal Fees Survey”, Canadian Lawyer Magazine (8
April 2019), online: <www.canadianlawyermag.
2. Law Society of British Columbia, Legal Aid Task
Force, A Vision for Publicly Funded Legal Aid in
British Columbia (March 2017) A Vision for Legal
Aid, online: <www.lawsociety.bc.ca/Website/
3. See Association of Legal Aid Lawyers, Proposal to
the Attorney General: Restoring Funding for Legal
Aid (15 February 2019) at 15, 17, online: <www.
4. Legal Services Society, “Do I Qualify for Legal Representation?”,
5. See British Columbia, “B.C. Poverty Reduction –
Background”, online: <engage.gov.bc.ca/bcpoverty
6. See Legal Services Society, supra note 4.
7. See Association of Legal Aid Lawyers, supra note 3
8. See ibid at 6.
9. See ibid at 5, 8.
10. See “Lack of Funding Prompts B.C.’s Legal-Aid
Lawyers to Plan Service Withdrawal”, CBC News
(14 March 2019), online: <www.cbc.ca/news/
11. See British Columbia, News Release, “B.C.
Announces Agreement with Legal Aid Lawyers” (29
March 2019), online: <news.gov.bc.ca/releases/
12. See Allison Jones, “Ontario Slashes Legal Aid
Budget by 30 Per Cent, Eliminates Refugee Law
Funding”, National Post (12 April 2019), online:
13. See Mike Crawley, “Legal Aid Cuts Will Clog
Ontario’s Already Crowded Courts, Lawyers Warn”,
CBC News (12 June 2019), online: <www.cbc.ca/
14. Blair Crawford, “Legal Aid Cuts ‘Mean-Spirited’,
Ottawa Lawyers Warn”, Ottawa Citizen (13 June
2019), online: <ottawacitizen.com/news/localnews/
Jacques Gallant, “Ontario’s Top Judges Slam
Ford Government over Cuts to Legal Aid”, Toronto
Star (10 September 2019), online: <www.thestar.
15. See R v Rowbotham (1998), 41 CCC (3d) 1 (Ont
16. Forty per cent of adults in British Columbia lack the
literacy skills needed to function fully in the modern
world. See LiteracyBC, “Literacy in British Columbia”,
online: <www.literacybc.ca/Info/literacyinbc. pdf>.
17. R v Crichton, 2015 BCCA 138 at para 52.
18. Ibid at para 49.
19. The Law Society has made regulatory changes to
encourage lawyers to provide pro bono services. See
Law Society of British Columbia, “Promoting Pro
Bono”, online: <www.lawsociety.bc.ca/our-initiatives
20. 1991 2 SCR 577.
21. Ibid at 606.
22. Ibid at 607.
23. 2014 SCC 52.
24. Ibid at para 8.
25. See Donald J Sorochan, “Wrongful Convictions: Preventing
Miscarriages of Justice – Some Case Studies”
(2008) 41:1 Tex Tech L Rev 93.
26. Online: <www.justice.gc.ca/mwg-internal/de5fs
27. Online: <www.ppsc-sppc.gc.ca/eng/pub/ptj-spj/