Canadian Legal System
People who live in Canada must know and obey the laws of this country. There are three types of laws:
Criminal Law: Protects all members of society and covers many offenses including murder, assault, theft, fraud, trafficking, and possession of illegal drugs, driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, etc. People charged with any of these crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Civil Law: Settles private arguments or disputes about property ownership, contracts, child custody, etc. Individuals pay their own court costs in civil disputes.
Bylaws: Grande Prairie bylaws protect the health, safety and welfare of residents as well as promote community standards. They include a variety of concerns such as smoking, snow removal, messy yards, parking, animal control, licensing and zoning regulations.
The Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act protects Albertans against discrimination in any manner based on race, religion, colour, gender, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, family status, source of income, physical disability, mental disability or sexual orientation. If you feel you have been treated unfairly based on any of the qualities above, call: The Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission
Legal assistance is often required in daily life, such as when purchasing a home, signing a contract or in other legal matters. It can be common during the immigration process. Assistance may also be required if you become involved in criminal or civil law issues.
There are a number of law offices across Grande Prairie that are specialized based on need. For individuals who qualify based on service requirements and income level, Legal Aid Alberta can provide support and services on legal matters. Grande Prairie Legal Guidance is also available to provide free legal information and advice to moderate-to-low income individuals who do not qualify for Legal Aid. Native Counselling Services of Alberta delivers services primarily to aboriginal individuals, families and youth who require assistance in court.