CLAS Programs

Community Law Program

We provide legal assistance to people in B.C. with problems in the areas of workers’ rights, income security, housing, mental health and human rights. We offer different kinds of legal services, including: summary legal advice to outline your options and point you in the right direction; assistance to help you represent yourself; and full representation.

Mental Health Law Program

We provide legal advice and representation to people who: have been involuntarily detained pursuant to the BC Mental Health Act; or have custody or conditional discharge disposition orders pursuant to the Mental Disorder Provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada. If you have been involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act or require representation at a BC Criminal Code Review Board hearing, contact our office and, depending on our capacity, we will either assist you or provide you options, including potential referrals.

BC Human Rights Clinic

We provide representation to complainants who have cases before the BC Human Rights Tribunal. If your application for representation by our Clinic is accepted, an advocate will assist you with the early stages of your complaint, including exploring settlement. Although most cases settle, should your case go to a hearing, a lawyer may be able to assist you in your preparation and potentially even represent you at your hearing.

Community Advocate Support Line

We provide a dedicated legal support service exclusively for advocates and community workers in B.C.


CLAS News

BC Supreme Court finds In favour of former tent city residents

FOR RELEASE

(Victoria, BC) Former residents of Super-in-Tent City (SIC), a tent city formerly located on the Victoria law courts property, are celebrating a May 18, 2018, decision from Justice Sharma of the BC Supreme Court, affirming their rights as tenants in the social housing building at 844 Johnson Street which was set up to house them when the tent city was dismantled.

This precedent setting decision dismisses an appeal brought by the Portland Hotel Society (PHS), a non-profit supportive housing provider and operator of the property located at 844 Johnson Street, and affirms the findings of the Residential Tenancy Branch that tenants in the building are covered under the Residential Tenancy Act and should be afforded all the same rights as tenants who reside in market housing. The decision also clearly mandates that blanket guest restrictions, like those imposed on the tenants at 844 Johnson Street, are illegal and must be removed. The decision will have positive and lasting effects on the lives of thousands of tenants living in supportive housing in Victoria and across the province.

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Renter Protection Changes Fall Short, Say Advocates

CKNW Radio. April 14 2018.

Vancouver Courier. April 13 2018.

The Tyee. April 16 2018.

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Changes to the Residential Tenancy Act won't protect renters facing renovictions

FOR RELEASE

On April 12 2018, the BC government announced amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act (the “RTA”). The government says that the aim of these amendments is to increase protections for tenants facing eviction due to renovations, repairs, or demolition. However, tenant advocates, Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) and Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre (TRAC), say that the changes will not provide meaningful protection for tenants across the province.

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