Accessing free legal advice can be a barrier for many members of the community. Accessing such information in languages besides English can be even more difficult.
To fill this gap in the community, the South Fraser Legal Resource Centre has partnered with the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Society to host a weekly legal resource clinic for the South Asian community. The clinics will be a free service to those wishing to obtain information and resources in the areas of family, poverty, and immigration law.
The legal educator will provide all services in English and Punjabi.
Educating immigrant populations is important, as their understanding of the Canadian legal system may be limited and may differ from the legal system in their home of origin.
Within the City of Surrey there is a vast South Asian community, many of whom are immigrants to Canada. It is vital that culturally competent legal services and resources be available to them if they are facing a legal issue.
Many immigrants are reluctant to access mainstream services because of their limited English skills.
Often, faith organizations and places of worship are considered a safe haven for immigrants. As such, we believe that a partnership with the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara was an appropriate partnership to reach out to the South Asian community.
The legal educator from South Fraser Legal Resource Centre will run clinics every Thursday (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.
Community members may attend the clinic on a drop-in basis (appointments are not required).
To learn more, visit www.gnsg.ca or call 604-598-1300.
Rupi Sahota, legal advocate
South Fraser Legal Resource Centre