The mayors of Alberta’s two largest cities have signed official proclamations declaring October 27 as Duty Counsel Day in Edmonton and Calgary.
An initiative of Legal Aid Alberta and its 12 legal aid partner organizations across the country, this is a day to create awareness of Duty Counsel—legal aid lawyers who give free, on-the-spot legal advice in family, criminal and immigration cases for people living in Canada.
More than 30 iconic Canadian landmarks will be lit up in red Oct. 27 to observe Duty Counsel Day, including the Calgary Tower and Edmonton’s High Level Bridge.
In addition to support from Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner and Mme Adrienne Clarkson, Senator Patti LaBoucane-Benson and CBC Diggstown actor Nicole Munoz, Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi and Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek have both proclaimed Oct. 27 as Duty Counsel Day in their cities.
“Their presence is essential to our democracy,” Gondek said of duty counsel in a video message, “and their support changes the lives of people facing extremely challenging circumstances.”
A framed parchment signed by Sohi cites the impact duty counsel have on the lives of Canadians.
“Duty Counsel lawyers possess specialized knowledge which helps courts run more smoothly and connects clients to necessary community programs and resources,” Sohi’s proclamation reads. “And … the City of Edmonton recognizes the vital services that Duty Counsel lawyers play in keeping the judicial system fair and just for all Edmontonians, regardless of their income.”
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