B.C. attorney general says legal aid deal averts threat of case adjournments

VICTORIA - B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton says an agreement with British Columbia's Legal Services Society averts concerns about adjourned child-protection cases and other court delays.

Anton says a one-time funding crunch associated primarily with legal bills for lawyers is being cleared and the government has confirmed all legal aid accounts will be covered for the remainder of this fiscal year.

Some lawyers were planning to start applying today to adjourn cases.

In a written message to lawyers, the B.C. Legal Services Society said it was no longer recommending lawyers avoid booking hearing dates for legal aid work from February 17 through March 31, 2014.

But the society said it continues to face cost pressures in criminal cases and while discussions with government were ongoing, those pressures could result in reduced services.

Anton says her ministry remains in discussions with the society on meeting cost pressures, and her goal remains to meet her budget targets.

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