Okanagan Advocacy Resource Society
Welcome to the Okanagan Advocate
In our areas of service, an advocate may help you understand information on:
- your rights and options
- reconsideration requests
- appeal steps
- procedures and investigations
An advocate may also provide referrals to the appropriate resources and basic information.
A legal advocate cannot give legal advice.
What's Important about Poverty Law?
Many people living in poverty have additional challenges like disabilities, and, struggling with poverty takes significant time and energy. Overall, the law and policy can be very complicated and difficult to understand, and sometimes with serious penalties if an infraction or mistake is claimed to be made.
OARS seeks to provide basic information on the law and policy, as well as potential next steps, so that people can make an informed choice when they face a problem.
Legal Resources in the North Okanagan*
Legal Aid Office
Phone No. 250 545-3666. Office is at 3105 31st street and you can also apply at the Vernon Courthouse.
Legal aid will provide a lawyer for people who meet the financial guidelines and their mandate, for example criminal charges and certain family law issues such as child protection cases with the Ministry of Child and Family Development.
Legal Services Society Community Partner
Phone No. 236 426-3329 ext. 401. This program does not offer legal advice but does provide legal information including information about online resources and other legal services. There is some limited assistance with forms if no other help is available.
Duty Counsel for Criminal and Family Court.
Phone No. 250 549-5422, for scheduling with the Vernon Courthouse. Provides free legal advice for people who meet the financial test.
Vernon Family Justice Centre
Phone No. 250 549-5644. Family justice counsellors are accredited family mediators who provide dispute resolution services to help families resolve disagreements about parenting arrangements
Specialized Victims Assistance
Phone No. 250 542-3322. This service is provided through Archways, which also operates the Vernon Transition House.
Vernon Courthouse Library
Phone No. 250 549-5432. The courthouse library service is currently provided over the phone. This is a legal library with reference books and case law.
Please note that because of COVID restrictions, some services may have changed. We strongly recommend phoning to find out what the current arrangements for services are. Although vaccines are rolling out, we expect health precautions to continue for the foreseeable future.
- Access Pro Bono – legal advice for people of low income – https://accessprobono.ca/
- Residential Tenancy Branch – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies
- Income Assistance (including Persons with Disability) – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/social-development-poverty-reduction
- Service Canada – https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/portfolio/service-canada.html
- Employment Insurance – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html
- Canada Pension Plan Disability – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/cpp-disability-benefit.html
- Tenants Resource and Advisory Centre – https://tenants.bc.ca/
- Employment Standards – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards
- PovNet Find an Advocate in your area – https://www.povnet.org/find-an-advocate
- Family LawLine – 1-866-577-2525 or https://lss.bc.ca/legal_aid/FamilyLawLINE
The information contained in or linked to the Okanagan Advocacy and Resource Society website is for informational purposes only.
OARS makes no representations, express or implied, that the information contained in or linked to its website can or will be used or interpreted in any particular way by any government agency or court.
As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.
COPYRIGHT © 2021 OKANAGAN ADVOCATE – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.