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New non-profit aiming to help educate Calgarians about justice system, legal support

A new non-profit organization that aims to help people access support and resources to learn more about the justice system and legal issues is preparing to open its doors in Calgary.

The ABC Foundation held an event to launch the initiative on Saturday morning.

“We realize that there is a lack of resources that’s available now. And the institutions that there are, there are some barriers, that do not allow those individuals to have those accesses,” Angeline Lal, the founding director of ABC Foundation, said.

“So looking at the fact that those barriers exist, we’re looking to fill in those gaps.”

Lal said the ABC Foundation envisions a future where Canadians have the tools and resources to navigate any legal situations they may encounter.

“We are essentially hoping that within the next year, there is nobody who’s going to be in Calgary that will be like, ‘Well, where do we find a lawyer? Or how do we deal with something that that’s happening?’” she said.

“So our offices, this is what our mandate is, is to ensure that we don’t turn anyone away and that everybody has access to justice or any other resources that they may need.”

Alberta Justice Minister of Justice Mickey Amery was on hand on Saturday morning to help launch the foundation.

“We know that … there’s so much more to justice than prisons and prosecutions. And we want to make sure that we support all of the not-for-profits and agencies all across this province, that are doing things to help address justice in different ways,” he said.

The ABC Foundation is opening its office to the public on Monday. The non-profit is hoping to assist around 1,500 to 2,000 people within the next year.

Lal said amplifying marginalized voices and helping vulnerable people is part of the organization’s focus, regardless of any language or systemic barriers.

With files from CTV News Calgary’s Tyler Barrow

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