The Nicola Valley Advocacy Centre opened in 2003 in response to the cuts to Legal Services which resulted in the closure of the Nicola Valley Native Community Law Office. The program provides legal advocacy services to people with low incomes who need legal information, advice or representation on a wide range of legal problems such as income security, housing, disabilities, violence and debt.
It also provides public legal education and support for community organizations wishing to assist clients with legal problems.
The Advocacy Centre is primarily funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia but also receives a small grant from the Legal Services Society under its Community Partnership Program. The purpose of the Community Partnership Program is to provide information about the Legal Services Society of BC, referrals to their programs and public legal education and outreach.
The Nicola Valley Advocacy Centre has a 1.0 FTE advocate/coordinator funded by the Law Foundation and a part time PLEI outreach worker funded by the Legal Services Society. From time to time, services have been enhanced by practicum students from the Social Work Department of the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. The work of the Centre is supervised by a local lawyer, who also provides pro bono legal assistance to the Centre’s clients.
Nicola Valley Advocacy Centre: Andree Harley, Coordinator. Tel. 250-378-9632 Fax. 250-378-9796. 2-2025 Granite Ave., Merritt BC. (Hours- 8:30 to 4:30 Mon-Fri)