On Friday, The Minister of Justice, Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) and the Law Society of Alberta agree to extend the recently expired Governance Agreement until September 5.

According to a statement released, The extension ensures the independence of Legal Aid Alberta. All parties agree this is necessary to uphold the Rule of Law and protect the rights of disadvantaged Albertans in the justice system.

"The extension ensures the independence of Legal Aid Alberta. All parties agree this is necessary to carry out its mission of upholding the Rule of Law and protecting the rights of disadvantaged Albertans in the justice system."

As a publicly funded, non-profit organization, LAA provides affordable legal services in family law, domestic violence, child welfare, immigration, and youth and adult criminal defence.

“We look forward to good faith negotiations and establishing a long-term Governance Agreement that ensures independent legal advice and assistance for vulnerable and disadvantaged Albertans in the justice system,” mentioned Ryan Callioux, Board Chair, Legal Aid Alberta

The parties anticipate productive negotiations. With the extension of the Governance Agreement, Legal Aid Certificates will continue to be issued.

“Alberta’s government remains committed to ensuring legal aid is available to all Albertans and remains sustainable for the long-term. We will continue to engage with Legal Aid Alberta and the Law Society of Alberta to finalize an agreement in the best interest of Albertans,” stated Mickey Amery, Minister of Justice.

Last week, Airdrie East MLA Angela Pitt predicted a deal or agreement would be reached before the July 9 deadline of LAA cutting off their services.

"I think that Albertans expect our government to be good stewards of their taxpayer funds and Legal Aid Alberta's costs and funding have ballooned over the last nine years, despite actually serving any additional clients. There is reason for the Alberta government and Legal Aid Alberta to go back to the table and really figure out what's going on there."

The justice system will continue to operate while the parties focus on resuming negotiations.

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