Statement by Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, on the need for increased federal funding for Legal Aid:
Funding for Legal Aid is a shared responsibility that includes the federal and provincial government. The Alberta government is doing its part, and is calling on the federal government to do the same.
The Alberta government gives the lion’s share of the funding (82 per cent and $48.4 million), which is an increase of more than two and a half times since 2005. Meanwhile, federal government funding has not increased and is less than a quarter of Alberta’s funding.
Alberta is not alone in struggling to meet the demand for Legal Aid with the current level of federal funding. Other provinces are also struggling, even those whose population has not increased by nearly a million people over the past decade like Alberta.
The bottom line for the provinces is an updated federal funding formula is needed that also increases the total amount of funding for Legal Aid. It is the right thing to do, and the Alberta government will continue to advocate for Legal Aid and the services it provides.