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 2018-2019 edition of the program ended on October 15, 2018.

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

Bodies can submit an application for financial assistance for new projects for services covering one, two or a maximum of three implementation or start-up phases. A separate application must be submitted for each phase under a call for projects as part of the program. Financial assistance for each phase is conditional on the results obtained during the previous phase, and on an analysis of the new phase. The granting of financial assistance for the first phase does not guarantee that assistance will be provided for the subsequent phases. The new service, once implemented, must then be financed by the body on an ongoing basis.

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.

The following types of project are eligible:

Dispute prevention and resolution:

  • projects to educate young people about dispute prevention and resolution processes;
  • projects to raise awareness among stakeholders in certain communities and among citizens about the importance of prevention, cooperation and dialogue in the resolution of disputes;
  • projects to establish dispute prevention and resolution services for citizens and to analyze promising approaches and their effectiveness, in order to define guidelines;
  • projects to train caseworkers about dispute prevention and resolution and to support the creation of information or awareness-raising services or initiatives;
  • projects to provide information and promote dispute prevention and resolution processes and their advantages.

Target groups with specific access to justice issues:

  • projects to establish and operate services to provide accompaniment in the court system, based on cooperation and partnerships;
  • projects to implement projects or actions in connection with alternative measures and adapted justice for specific groups;
  • projects to uphold rights or exercise recourses through direct and accessible services. 

Innovative services to promote access to justice for citizens

  • projects to support citizens using new approaches, such as multidisciplinarity;
  • projects to provide affordable services on-line or using new technologies and new means of communication;
  • projects to provide experimental services based on new practices or new solutions.

The following projects are not eligible:

  • 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.

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.

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. the relevance of the project is assessed based on the needs existing in the community or territory concerned, and the project's match with the program objectives, the policy directive and one of the priorities selected by the Committee (20 %);
  2. the quality of the project is assessed based on the nature of the activity or project presented, the quality of the means proposed to meet the objectives, the experience and skills of the personnel involved, and support in the community (22 %);
  3. innovation is assessed based on the unique nature of the project, the use of plain language and the use of innovative methods, including the use of new technologies (20 %);
  4. the feasibility of the project is assessed based on the ability of the person or body to comply with the budget forecast submitted, the scheduled proposed and the activities to be completed (20 %);
  5. the scope of the project is assessed based on its positive impacts on the target issue, its contribution to the community or territory concerned, its short and medium term benefits, its viability and its potential for transfer to other communities (18 %).

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.

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.

You must provides all the documents listed in this section for the processing of your application for financial assistance.

Form and schedules

The documents must be completed and contain the following information:

  • the body’s complete contact information;
  • a brief description of its mission and values and its relation to the community and territory where the project or activity will be implemented;
  • a detailed description of the project, including:

    • the target clientele,
    • the objectives to be met,
    • an implementation plan, including a schedule for implementation that includes a description of the activities and their deadline;

  • a budgetary forecast for the project, including an estimate of planned expenditure and income;
  • a list of the other requests for financial assistance submitted to other funding providers, the amount requested and, if applicable, the amount received.

Supporting documents

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

  • a resolution by the board of directors authorizing the person responsible to file the application;
  • a copy of the letter or letters of support from the project partners;
  • a flow chart showing the structure of the project;
  • a flow chart showing the structure of the body;
  • a copy of the body's constituting act*;
  • a copy of the body's general by-laws*;
  • a copy of the financial statement from the last fiscal year, adopted at the body's annual general meeting*;
  • a copy of the body's last annual report adopted at the annual general meeting*.

* Legal persons established in the public interest do not need to included these documents with the application.

Reminder: the application form for financial assistance must be signed and submitted as a paper copy, accompanied by all the required document, to the following address:

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

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