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Legal Aid offices in Peace region closed down

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As of Monday, legal aid offices in Grande Prairie, Peace River and Whitecourt have been closed down.

Legal Aid Alberta Communications Director Jan Archbold says they found the way users first get in touch with them has changed drastically.

“There was a time when it was a combination of the phone service and in-person visits, but now 90 per cent of Albertans are contacting us by telephone, and of the remaining 10 per cent, people are dropping into offices in Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, and Lethbridge.”

Overall the services offered haven’t changed, only how first contact is made.

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However, shutting down the drop-in services also means a cut to expenses.

“There is a $4 million cost savings over a three year period associated with these changes, but still, at the end of 2016/2017, we are still going to be in a deficit position of $15 million.”

Between the seven offices across the province that have been closed, 35 jobs have been cut.

However, sixteen have been added as they centralize the phone service in Edmonton.

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