Financial assistance program to promote access to justice

The financial assistance program to promote access to justice targets projects and activities that enhance the public’s knowledge and understanding of Québec law and Québec’s legal system and help the public to better navigate the system.

The projects or activities supported by the program may be connected with any matter relating to access to justice.

All projects must have a connection to the Program’s objective, the policy directive and one of the priorities for the granting of financial assistance selected by the Advisory committee on access to justice.

Call for projects for the 2019-2020 edition of the program ended on October 24, 2018.

Amount of financial assistance 

Financial annual assistance may be requested up to a maximum of $50,000.

Bodies eligible for assistance

The program is open to:

  • legally established bodies having their head office in Québec;
  • non-profit organizations and legal persons established in the public interest.

The applicant body must:

  • have a mission and vision that are consistent with the program objectives;
  • not be in debt to the Ministère de la Justice or another government department;
  • have been in operation for at least 12 months;
  • have expertise in connection with the project presented.

The following bodies are not eligible for assistance:

  • bodies whose activities have been interrupted by a labour conflict (strike or lockout);
  • bodies experiencing administrative or financial difficulties that may jeopardize the completion of the project;
  • bodies established for a religious, union-related or political purpose or that are mainly involved in the redistribution of grants (foundations);
  • private enterprises are not eligible for the program.

Eligible projects

Projects must correspond to at least one of the following priorities: 

Priority 1: Aboriginal client groups facing specific issues in connection with access to justice

The committee welcomes all types of access to justice projects, in particular for Aboriginal client groups, for example targeting:

  • Creation and launch of services to provide support during the court process, based on cooperation and partnerships;
  • Projects or actions to support alternative measures and adapted justice in the North;
  • Support to help groups assert rights or exercise recourses, based on the provision of direct and accessible services. 

Priority 2: Innovative services to improve citizen's access to justice 

Examples of projects that can be developed or continued:

  • projects to provide support for citizens based on new approaches such as multidisciplinarity;
  • low-cost or online services, or services based on new technologies and new means of communication;
  • projects to test best practices or new approaches.

It is important to note that the program one of the program’s targets is the development of good practice and innovation in the community sector.  

Priority 3: Dispute prevention and resolution (DPR)

Examples of projects that can be developed or continued:

  • Information and promotion to highlight DPR approaches and their advantages;
  • Activities to raise awareness in certain communities and for certain citizens with respect to prevention, cooperation and dialogue in the area of dispute resolution;
  • Creation of DPR services for citizens and analysis of promising approaches and their effectiveness, in order to establish guidelines;
  • Training for case workers in DPR methods to support the creation of information and awareness services;
  • Education on prevention and dispute resolution for young people.

Ineligible projects

The following projects are not eligible:

  • Projects that do not match the program priorities;
  • Support for a body's general mission;
  • Theoretical research;
  • Feasibility studies or action plans;
  • University-level dissertations or theses;
  • Activities connected to private litigation or litigation with the state;
  • Production of goods or services to promote sales or solicit donations;
  • Purchase of equipment or buildings;
  • Duplication of programs, services or activities that already receive financial assistance;
  • Projects to take place outside Québec.

Eligible expenditure

The following expenditure is eligible:

  • the wages of one or more persons in connection with the management or completion of the project;
  • advertising costs and the design and printing of informational or promotional materials;
  • travel and training costs, if applicable; travel costs must be based on reasonable reimbursement criteria (choice of the most economical means of travel and accommodation).

Only expenditure directly linked to the completion of the project is eligible.

The following expenditure is not eligible:

  • rent, power, maintenance and repair, insurance premiums or bank charges connected to the body’s normal activities;
  • the remuneration of employees for regular activities;
  • expenditure incurred before the subsidized project begins;
  • the purchase of promotional articles such pens, mugs, bags, etc.;
  • the purchase of a prize for a competition;
  • the repayment of a debt, accumulated deficit or loan;
  • the purchase of equipment used for the body's day-to-day activities, such as furniture, computers, tablets, etc.;
  • expenditure reimbursed by another program.

Criteria for the evaluation of projects

All projects are analyzed by the Advisory committee on access to justice.

The committee makes a recommendation to the Minister concerning the projects that are to receive assistance.

Projects are analyzed on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Innovation, assessed in terms of a project’s uniqueness and reliance on innovative methods (30%);
  2. The project’s relevance and ability to respond to an unmet need, assessed in terms of the needs existing in the community or territory concerned and the project’s consistency with the program objectives and priorities (15%);
  3. Quality and feasibility, assessed in terms of the means available to the body, its expertise, the credibility of its budgetary forecast, the coherence of the project schedule, and the overall quality of the presentation (30%);
  4. Impact on the community and effectiveness over time, assessed in terms of the project’s positive impacts on the target issue, its contribution to the community, its benefits over the short and medium term and its potential for transfer to other communities (15%);
  5. Joint action with other stakeholders in the field, assessed in terms of the quality of the support expressed by the partner(s) and the letter(s) specifying their contribution to the project (10%).

Terms and conditions for the granting of financial assistance 

A body must sign a financial assistance agreement with the Minister of Justice when financial assistance is granted.

The agreement specifies:

  • the amount of the assistance;
  • the terms and conditions of payment;
  • the requirements in terms of visibility and accountability.

Accountability

A progress report is required for all projects and must state:

  • the progress of the project;
  • the results expected and obtained;
  • expectations and obstacles, whether encountered or apprehended;
  • the incurred and forecast expenditure.

The body must also provide the annual financial report or reports in which the assistance provided by the office of the access to justice fund (Bureau du Fonds Accès Justice, or BAJF) (as Income) and the project expenditure (as Expenses) appear separately.

Form and schedules

Only forms that are duly completed and signed, and submitted with Schedules A, B and C and all the required documents, will be considered.

Form and schedules

Other supporting documents 

The following documents must be submitted with the form and schedules:

  • A copy of the organization chart showing the administrative structure of the body;
  • A copy of the organization chart showing the administrative structure for the project;
  • A signed resolution by the board of directors of the applicant body designating the person authorized to sign the form and, if applicable, the financial assistance agreement 2;
  • A copy of the letter(s) of support from project partners;
  • A copy of the body’s constituting act 1, 2;
  • A copy of the body’s general by-laws 1, 2;
  • A copy of the financial report for the last fiscal year, adopted at the last annual general meeting 1, 2;
  • A copy of the last annual report adopted at the last annual general meeting 1, 2;

1 Optional documents in the case of a legal person established in the public interest.

2 In the case of an application submitted by a band council, the documents must be those that correspond to the council’s mode of operation (for example, founding deed, operating by-laws, resolution of the band council, resolution of the annual general meeting, etc.).

 

Filing of an application for financial assistance

The project submission period ends on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 11:59 pm.

The completed and signed application form for financial assistance and all required documents must be submitted electronically using the Department's file hosting service (Dropbox).

To obtain a link to access this online service (Dropbox), you must adress your request at programmefaj@justice.gouv.qc.ca, specifying:

  • the full name of the organization and its contact information (address, email and phone number);
  • the name of the person authorized by the board of directors to file an application.

Please note that the request for an access link to the Departement’s online file hosting service must be submitted by Thursday, October 17, 2019.

After this date, no access link can be transmitted. The organization must then send the duly completed and signed application form and all the required documents in paper form to the following address:

Bureau du Fonds Accès Justice
Édifice Louis-Philippe-Pigeon
1200, route de l'Église, 3e étage
Québec (Québec) G1V 4M1

 

 

 

 

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