Bar association donates computers to Hazelton Legal Aid Society

A legal aid organization in Hazelton has new laptops courtesy of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA).

On August 12, Clare Jennings, CBA BC Chapter President, traveled to Hazelton to deliver the machines to the Upper Skeena Counseling & Legal Assistance Society (USCLAS).

The ABC BC recovered the computers during its Access to Justice (A2J) technology data drive, which ran from April to May 2022 in conjunction with the Electronic Recycling Association. Organizations received more than 180 electronic devices from law firms and individual lawyers.

“The A2J Tech Drive was intended to help rural communities, like Hazelton, connect with the increasingly digital justice system. I am grateful for the efforts of donors to help the campaign’s vision become a reality,” Jennings said.

In addition to USCLAS, CBA BC donates electronic devices to other northern BC charities, including the Island Wellness Society in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii and the Haida Gwaii Society for Community Peace.

Linda Locke, QC, chief attorney at USCLAS, was grateful for the donation.

“USCLAS’ impact in Northwest communities continues to grow. CBABC’s donations of technology tools help our clients access courts and other resources.

Jennings also stopped in Smithers and Terrace to meet with local lawyers about proposed changes to lawyer regulations, including more than 400 lawyers in northern British Columbia.

“Lawyers for these communities need to be heard,” Jennings said. “They are BC North’s greatest allies in improving access to justice for British Columbians in this region. The work they do is immense. I could not miss the opportunity to hear them before stepping down as President.

“As the justice system continues to evolve, our services are also evolving,” Locke said. “CBABC’s efforts to hear from us and help us are remarkable for the future of our communities’ access to justice.

The Upper Skeena Counseling & Legal Assistance Society (USCLAS) was formed in 1977 in response to the overrepresentation of First Nations people in conflict with the justice system.

The Canadian Bar Association represents over 7,300 members in British Columbia.

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