Poverty Law

The law for the rich and poor is not the same.
Plautus, Cistellaria, c. 200 B.C.


Substantive and procedural law benefits and protects landlords over tenants, creditors over debtors, lenders over borrowers, and the poor are seldom among the favoured parties.
John N. Turner, Attorney General of Canada, Speech to Canadian Bar Association, December 7, 1969.


Differences in the ability of classes to use the machinery of the law, if permitted to remain, lead inevitably to disparity between the rights of classes....And when the law recognizes and enforces a distinction between classes, revolution ensues or democracy is at an end. Reginald Heber Smith, JUSTICE AND THE POOR (1919) page 12,

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There are a number of organizations in Canada that focus on poverty issues:

PovNet.org
PovNet is an internet site for advocates, people on welfare, and community groups and individuals involved in anti-poverty work. It provides up-to-date information about welfare and housing laws and resources in British Columbia. PovNet links to current anti-poverty issues and also provides links to other anti-poverty organizations and resources in Canada and internationally.

British Columbia Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC)
The British Columbia Public Interest Advocacy Centre is a non-profit society that advances the interests of groups that are generally un-represented or under-represented in issues of major public concern.

Charter Committee on Poverty Issues (CCPI)
CCPI is a national coalition founded in 1989 to bring together low-income activists and poverty law advocates for the purpose of assisting poor people in Canada to secure and assert their rights under international human rights law, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the "Charter"), human rights legislation and other laws in Canada.

The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) is a non-profit human rights organization that promotes human rights in housing. CERA works to remove the barriers that keep disadvantaged individuals and families from accessing and retaining the housing they need. CERA has become a world leader in using both domestic and international human rights law to address issues of homelessness and poverty. CERA works with non-governmental organizations in Canada and in other countries to promote and enforce economic and social rights.

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