David Eby, Attorney General has said that “I am thrilled that British Columbia’s inaugural Access to Justice Week has launched. I extend a warm welcome to all those who have gathered to take part in dialogue and information sharing on the justice system over the course of this week.
“As the attorney general of British Columbia, I know the barriers facing access to justice cannot be overcome without a concerted and collaborative effort to create change. Access to Justice Week will commemorate the advancements we have made on justice issues and provide a forum in which to examine the work that remains to increase access for people who are underserved or marginalized.
“My ministry is working to ensure that everyone in B.C. experiences equal access to justice. One of the key issues we are addressing is the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice and child welfare systems, and the Province and the B.C. Aboriginal Justice Council continue to work collaboratively to develop a provincial Indigenous justice strategy.
“A key area of focus for Indigenous justice is the role of the Gladue report, which serves to present the cultural considerations of an Indigenous defendant prior to sentencing. During Access to Justice Week, I am pleased that the Province and the B.C. Aboriginal Justice Council will be co-hosting a two-day Knowledge Sharing Gathering in Vancouver to discuss the direction of Gladue report policy. The event will host provincial and national experts to share their knowledge and insights on how to bring about transformative Gladue implementation approaches in British Columbia and will produce a report and recommendations for the Indigenous Justice Strategy Leadership Circle.
“I applaud the Allard Law School at the University of British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University faculty of law and the University of Victoria faculty of law for leading this inaugural event. I am heartened by the many conversations happening around the province to identify and develop ways to increase access to justice and make the province a more equitable and prosperous place to live for all British Columbians.”