The Canadian Legal Problems Survey
Surveys about legal problems and needs are undertaken in countries around the world. In 2021, the Canadian Legal Problems Survey (CLPS) was conducted to identify the kinds of serious legal problems people face, how they attempted to resolve them, and how these experiences have impacted their lives. This survey was conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of the Department of Justice Canada and other federal departments.
The CLPS is the latest legal needs survey conducted in Canada. Previously, the survey was conducted in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2014.
A Series of Qualitative Studies on Serious Legal Problems
To complement the CLPS, community-based researchers were contracted to conduct a series of qualitative studies to explore and report on the experiences of specific populations in different parts of Canada who have experienced a serious legal problem. The following reports provide an in-depth qualitative look at these problems and how the members of these groups dealt with them.
- A Qualitative Look at Serious Legal Problems – Métis Community
This study provides insights into the experiences of 10 Métis individuals from communities in the Northwest Territories who recently dealt with a serious legal problem, and the multi-faceted and severe impacts this had on them and their families. The perspectives of five service providers who live and work in these communities were also captured. Their experiences highlight some of the barriers and challenges their clients have faced in accessing justice, and how their work impacts them personally.
- A Qualitative Look at Serious Legal Problems: Trans, Two-Spirit, and Non-Binary People in Canada
This study consisted of semi-structured interviews with trans, Two-Spirit, and non-binary people from across Canada who were asked to describe the serious legal problems they experienced in the previous three years. Participants described the complex nature of their legal problems, including how they attempted to resolve them, the support they received or needed, the barriers they faced, and more.
- Serious Legal Problems faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Other Sexual-Minority People in Western Canada: A Qualitative Study
The Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) conducted qualitative interviews with sexual-minority people who had recently experienced a serious legal problem in British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba to explore the types of legal problems, barriers to justice, and impacts of legal issues experienced by sexual-minority people in Western Canada.
- A Qualitative Look at Serious Legal Problems Faced by Immigrants in Greater Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia
This study gathers information from immigrant communities in Greater Victoria and the Vancouver area to gain insight into how immigrants navigate serious legal problems. The researchers conducted qualitative interviews with newcomers and established immigrants between July and November 2020.
- A Qualitative Look at Serious Legal Problems Facing Immigrants in London and Toronto, Ontario
This qualitative study explores recent immigrants’ experiences with serious legal problems in Canada, such as consumer debt, employment-related problems, and problems with neighbours, family, and discrimination. The researchers conducted qualitative interviews in mid to late 2020 with recent immigrants living in London and Toronto, Ontario.
- Serious Problems Experienced by People with Disabilities Living in Atlantic Canada
Through qualitative interviews, this research report examines serious problems experienced by people who live with disabilities in Atlantic Canada, with a focus on New Brunswick. Participants were asked about the types of legal issues or other serious problems that they encountered over the past three years, what actions they took to resolve the problems and the outcomes of those efforts.
- A Qualitative Look at Serious Legal Problems for People with Disabilities in Central Canada
The Disabled Women’s Network (DAWN) conducted qualitative research with persons with disabilities in Ontario and Quebec who had encountered serious legal problems in the past three years. This study offers insights as to barriers within the legal system and potential solutions to improving access for persons with disabilities.
- Serious Problems Experienced by Diverse People with Disabilities Western Canada
Using qualitative interviews and a focus group, this research report explores the experiences of people with disabilities who live in Canada’s western provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) regarding serious legal problems they experienced in the last three years, the avenues they took to address these problems, and the outcome and effect on their lives.
- Urban African Canadians: A Qualitative Study of Serious Legal Problems in Quebec
This study explores serious legal problems that Black Canadians faced in the previous three years, how they tried to resolve their problems, and the impacts of those problems. The report is based on qualitative interviews conducted in the summer and fall of 2020 with members of Quebec’s Black population.
- Voices matter: the impact of serious legal problems on 16- to 30-year-olds in the Black community
Using an online survey and focus groups, this study examines the impact of serious legal problems on 16- to 30-year-olds in the Black community in Toronto and Ottawa. Participants reported that they faced discrimination in public settings, issues with housing, police contact, employment issues, and child support/custody.
- Experiences of discrimination among the Black and Indigenous populations in Canada, 2019
- Canadian Legal Problems Survey (Statistics Canada)
- Experiences of serious problems or disputes in the Canadian provinces, 2021
- The Legal Problems of Everyday Life - The Nature, Extent and Consequences of Justiciable Problems Experienced by Canadians (2009)
- Justiciable Problems and Social Exclusion (2009)
- The Incidence of Justiciable Problems in Civil Matters in Canada: Three National Surveys in 2004, 2006 and 2008
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