October 23rd, 2017

Alberta Justice officials say people have wrong idea about legal-aid fee

By The Canadian Press on October 11, 2017.

EDMONTON – Alberta Justice officials say an up-front fee from $25 to $150 for legal-aid clients has been the victim of misperceptions.

David Peace, who is in charge of justice services, says the fee was brought in with safeguards to ensure that those who could not afford to pay would still get access to a lawyer.

Peace made the comments to a legislature committee examining the fee which was announced last month.

Concerns that people with little to no money would be denied legal help prompted Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley and Legal Aid Alberta to put the plan on hold.

Peace said the plan was to have managers examine every case on its merits to make sure only clients who could afford the up-front fee would pay.

Some legal-aid fees are already collected at the back end.

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