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A Guide to the Canadian Legal System for New Immigrants to Canada

Posted on: October 31, 2023

Moving to a new country can create unexpected legal challenges for immigrants. Issues with immigration, housing, family matters, relationship breakdowns, employment, and access to government assistance and services can present a need for legal information or advice. With limited support or networks in Canada that can aid them in navigating the legal system to resolve their issues, many people struggle to identify where to seek assistance. The NewToBC Team has created a comprehensive guide to help you understand the Canadian Legal System.

How Does Canada’s Legal System Work?

Canada’s legal system is rooted in the British tradition. The concepts of individual rights and freedoms have their origins in the British legal framework. In Canada, laws are created by both federal and provincial governments, as well as through precedent set by court rulings. While the courts ensure the enforcement of the law, they operate independently from the government. It is a fundamental principle that all individuals, including law enforcement, the military, and the government itself, are bound to adhere to Canada’s legal statutes.

Where Can I Find Information to Help Me Understand Law in BC?

hands writing on paper with a pen - may be a legal document to support the law focus of the story

The Vancouver Public Library offers library books, journals, and online resources about various branches of Canadian law, with a particular emphasis on the law in British Columbia. Most of the suggested resources are geared towards the general public and therefore provide easy-to-understand explanations of complicated legal matters. You will also find full-text sources of legislation and reference materials intended for a professional audience.

Additionally, our website answers questions such as:

  • What’s the best way to find a lawyer in Canada?
  • What do I do if I can’t afford a lawyer?
  • How can I protect myself from scams geared towards immigrants?

How Can I Find a Lawyer in in Canada?

Clicklaw is a resource operated by the Courthouse Libraries BC as part of a mission to improve public access to legal information. This website can help you find relevant legal information, educational resources, and services from over 40 contributor organizations. For a comprehensive list of such organizations across British Columbia, check out Clicklaw’s Resource List for Legal Help.

What Do I Do if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

Legal Aid BC is a non-profit organization that provides legal information, advice, and representation services. They help British Columbians with serious family problems, child protection matters, immigration issues, and criminal law issues. Legal Aid BC’s priority is to serve the interests of people with low incomes, but their services are available to all British Columbians. There are many

How Do I Protect Myself From Scams Aimed at New Immigrants?

As a new immigrant to British Columbia, you might not be familiar with the operations of organizations and government entities. To safeguard yourself, it’s crucial to stay informed about common scams and frauds that frequently target newcomers to Canada. You can access valuable information on government websites to educate yourself about these schemes and learn how to protect yourself if you encounter a scam or fraud.

It’s essential to understand that Canadian government departments do not initiate contact via telephone to collect fees or fines. They do not engage in aggressive tactics, threaten arrest or deportation, harm you or your family members, or damage your property or home.

For more information:

Moving to a new country is a transformative experience, and understanding the legal system is a crucial part of ensuring a successful transition. By arming oneself with knowledge and resources, immigrants can navigate these challenges with confidence and security.