Linda Locke, QC, (seated) managing lawyer for the Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society receives a donation of laptops from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch. (Submitted photo)

Linda Locke, QC, (seated) managing lawyer for the Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society receives a donation of laptops from the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch. (Submitted photo)

Bar association donates computers to Hazelton legal assistance society

The laptops are intended to improve access to justice for society clients

A Hazelton legal assistance organization has new laptop computers courtesy of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA).

On Aug. 12, Clare Jennings, CBA BC branch president visited Hazelton to deliver the machines to the Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society (USCLAS).

CBA BC collected the computers during its Access to Justice (A2J) tech drive, which ran from April to May 2022 in collaboration with the Electronic Recycling Association. The organizations received more than 180 electronic devices from law firms and individual lawyers.

“The A2J Tech Drive was premised upon helping rural communities, like Hazelton, connect with the justice system that has increasingly become digital. I’m thankful for the donors’ efforts in helping the campaign’s vision turn into reality,” Jennings said.

In addition to USCLAS, CBA BC is donating electronics to other charities across northern BC, including Island Wellness Society in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii and the Haida Gwaii Society for Community Peace.

Linda Locke, QC, managing lawyer at USCLAS, was grateful for the donation.

“USCLAS’s impact in the communities across the Northwest continues to grow. CBABC’s donations of technological tools helps our clients access courts and other resources.”

Jennings also stopped by Smithers and Terrace to meet with local lawyers about proposed changes to the regulation of lawyers, including more than 400 lawyers across northern British Columbia.

“The lawyers in these communities must be heard,” Jennings said. “They are BC North’s greatest allies in increasing access to justice for British Columbians in this area. The work they do is immense. I could not miss the opportunity to hear from them before I step down from my role as president.”

“As the justice system continues to evolve, so do our services,” Locke said. “CBABC’s efforts in hearing from us and helping us is remarkable for the future of our communities’ access to justice.”

The Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society (USCLAS) was created in 1977 in response to the over-representation of First Nations people in conflict with the justice system.

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