Community engagement by the Public Interest Law Centre attracts over 85 stakeholders
On April 1st and 7th, the Public Interest Law Centre of Legal Aid Manitoba (PILC) hosted two participatory webinars for community stakeholders. The purpose of the webinars was fourfold: to educate the public about PILC law reform and administrative advocacy services; identify client needs relating to systemic/ group issues; hear about barriers to access to justice relating to systemic/group issues; and discuss what can be done in response to barriers. Videos of the webinar can be found here.
Over 85 individuals, groups and nations participated in the webinars and approximately 15 one-on-one follow up interviews were held! A wide variety of people, organizations, and perspectives were represented including from the following communities: disability, environmental, financial inclusion, consumer, First Nations, LGBTQ2S+, newcomers, prisoners, at-risk women and youth, homelessness, harm reduction, institutional accountability etc.
Our survey results found that:
- approximately 45% of people knew that PILC was an office of Legal Aid Manitoba;
- approximately 55% of the participants had accessed PILC services;
- approximately 55% of participants would benefit from the PILC Advocacy Unit’s assistance with all of the following – employment and income assistance, Community Living Disability Services, residential tenancy matters and refugee representation; and
- approximately 60% of participants would benefit from PILC’s assistance with all of the following – legal advocacy, legal education workshops, legal public awareness campaigns, conducting and sharing legal research and legal navigation assistance.
We heard a wide variety of perspectives on needs, barriers to justice and how PILC can assist. A report summarizing what we heard as well as next steps for PILC’s bright future will be available by the end of the Summer 2021. Stay tuned!