In Quebec, survivors of sexual violence and workplace harassment now have greater access to free legal aid services from Juripop.
The project, which was announced by the province last December, allows people — regardless of income, age or immigration status — to receive legal advice and support from a lawyer.
The services, which are offered across Quebec, are free of charge and confidential. Juripop lawyers can help clients navigate and assess their files and help them take legal action if desired.
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Lawyers are allowed to advise clients in different matters of civil law, labour law, family law, human rights and criminal and immigration law.
The legal clinic will also offer interpretation services to clients who do not speak English or French. Consultations can take place in person, by videoconference or by telephone.
Last December, Justice Minister Sonia LeBel described it as a first step and said that other measures will be implemented to help victims of sexual assault. The provincial government is providing $2.6 million for the pilot project.
“The service that Juripop is launching today, and which fully meets our objectives, will be of great benefit to victims,” LeBel said in a statement. “All it takes is a call or an email to obtain the advice of a lawyer who will remain a trusted companion for them, as long as they need it.”
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The initiative came after members of Quebec’s three main opposition parties worked with LeBel to find ways to better support sexual assault victims.
While the services for survivors of sexual violence are funded by the province, Justice Canada is supporting legal aid for workplace harassment services.
Federal Justice Minister David Lametti said in a statement that all workers deserve to work in safe conditions.
“It is essential that those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace know that they are supported and that there are resources available to them,” he said.
— With files from the Canadian Press