Making legal help more accessible

 LHCWEB

Legal Help Centre opens in downtown Winnipeg’s Portage Place Mall

photo: Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, The Honourable Madam Justice Colleen Suche, Court of Queen’s Bench and Cory Shangreaux of Investors Group and a volunteer lawyer at the Centre open the Legal Help Centre – June 4, 2014

WINNIPEG, MB – People with low incomes who require legal help will now be able to turn to the Legal Help Centre in a central and visible location downtown, inside Portage Place Mall. The Legal Help Centre, a joint initiative of The University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba, founded in 2011, provides legal information and resources, a drop-in and referral service as well as community workshops addressing specific legal issues. A ribbon-cutting to open the new location was held today and attended by Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg and Kathy Jones, Executive Director, Legal Help Centre

“This Legal Help Centre grew out of the global Legal Empowerment of the Poor movement, which recognizes that human rights are only meaningful if we are able to exercise them,” said Axworthy. ”This highly visible community resource offers people with low incomes access to individualized information that they might not otherwise know about, which is the first step to making truly informed decisions. It also offers our students important real-life opportunities to develop critical skills and learn from the lived experiences of people within our diverse community.”

Students from UWinnipeg’s Global College and Criminal Justice Department and from the University of Manitoba’s faculties of Social Work and Law staff the Centre under the supervision and direction of volunteer lawyers.

Cory Shangreaux, of Investors Group and a volunteer at the Centre says “The Centre is important because it fills a need in our community by providing legal information to people who don’t qualify for Legal Aid, who can’t afford to hire a lawyer and have nowhere else to turn. It’s an important asset to our community.”

LEGAL HELP CENTRE, PORTAGE PLACE – 2nd floor above Staples

Drop-in Clinics are open each Tuesday and Friday from 1:00 – 5:00 pm for information and referral. This service is free for those with family incomes under $50,000 per year.

The Centre also offers public legal education workshops on a variety of topics as well as a Family Law Clinic (by appointment on Monday mornings). It also offers a monthly outreach clinic at Siloam Mission and the Indigenous Family Centre (470 Selkirk Avenue). All services are free of charge.

Address and Hours

LEGAL HELP CENTRE
202-393 Portage Avenue
(Second floor of Portage Place at the west end of the mall above Staples)
Phone: 204 258 3096
Tuesdays and Fridays 1:00  to 4:30 pm
http://legalhelpcentre.ca/

Background:

The Legal Help Centre is a joint initiative of The University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba that opened its door to the public in 2011.

The genesis of the project arose out of The University of Winnipeg’s Global College and its study of The United Nations Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor. The College, along with Criminal Justice Department, became interested in developing a community-based project aimed at increasing access to justice for the disadvantaged communities of inner-city Winnipeg including Aboriginal peoples, newcomers, persons with disabilities, students and the working poor. From this, the idea to create a legal resource and information centre emerged.

The Legal Help Centre is a non profit corporation, with charitable status. Its board of directors includes representation from the two universities, the legal profession and the community.

The Centre’s work is possible because of the generous assistance of several corporations including The Investors Group, MPIC, the Royal Bank, numerous Winnipeg law firms, as well as the Manitoba Law Foundation, and many individual donors.

Pro- Bono legal projects are available in various jurisdictions across Canada including Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and Calgary.

 

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this story:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+

Comments are closed.