Financial assistance program to promote access to justice

The Financial assistance program to promote access to justice funds projects designed for citizens and whose objective is to improve their knowledge and understanding of the law or the Québec justice system and how it is used.
 
The activities or projects this program supports may concern any issue related to accessing justice.
 
All projects must tie into the Program’s objective and to the policy direction(s) of he Advisory committee on access to justice.

The project submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021.

Amount of financial assistance 

The maximum annual financial assistance requested must be equal to or less than $50,000.

Eligible organizations

The program is for:

  • legally incorporated organizations whose head office is in Québec;
  • non-profit organizations and legal persons established in the public interest.

The applicant must:

  • have a mission and vision compatible with program objectives;
  • not be indebted to the Ministère or any other government ministry or department;
  • have been in business for at least 12 months;
  • hold expertise related to the project presented.

Ineligible organizations

The following organizations are ineligible:

  • organizations whose activities are interrupted due to a labour dispute (strike or lockout);
  • organizations with administrative or financial problems that may jeopardize project completion;
  • organizations of a religious, trade-union or political nature or that are primarily involved in redistributing grants (foundations);
  • private companies.

Eligible projects

Projects are eligible provided they are designed to improve access to justice.

For the 2020-2021 call for projects, the policy direction will be to prioritize projects to financially support the maintenance, adaptation and improvement of access to justice services offered by community organizations in the context of the pandemic.
 
Examples of projects to implement or continue:

  • projects for the purchase of computer equipment, the upgrading of the organizations’ work tools and the purchase of the equipment necessary to ensure that the premises comply with public health regulations (such as Plexiglas and screens) aimed at improving the quality of services provided by the organization and its work with clients in the context of the pandemic;
  • projects that support the development or updating of a website, mobile application or any other platform in order to improve the quality of the services provided by the organization in the context of the pandemic; 
  • projects that involve the development of research, information, awareness and training initiatives for the benefit of citizens in the context of the pandemic;
  • awareness-raising projects on prevention, cooperation and dialogue in dispute resolution;
  • projects that introduce dispute prevention and resolution (DPR) services and that analyze promising practices and their effectiveness in order to identify potential directions;
  • worker training projects to support the introduction of an information or awareness service or initiative;
  • projects to introduce and start up support services for justiciables that focus on collaboration, partnerships and multidisciplinarity;
  • diversion and adapted justice projects;
  • support projects for asserting rights or exercising remedies that involve a direct, accessible service offer;
  • projects for low-cost or online service or services that make use of new technologies and new means of communication;
  • action-research projects.

Ineligible projects

The following projects are ineligible:

  • financial support for day-to-day operations or for the general mission of organizations or an association of organizations; 
  • theoretical research projects that are not directly related to providing citizens with services;
  • feasibility studies or the development of action plans;
  • writing of a thesis or dissertation;
  • activities related to a private dispute or a dispute with the State;
  • the production of a good or service for the purpose of sale or soliciting donations;
  • the duplication of previously funded programs, services or activities;
  • projects that take place outside Québec.

Eligible expenditures

The following expenditures are eligible:

  • salaries related to project management or implementation for one or more people;
  • advertising expenses or the cost of designing and printing information or promotional material;
  • travel or training costs, where applicable. Travel expenses must be based on reasonable reimbursement criteria (choice of economical means of transportation and accommodation);
  • the purchase of equipment used to carry out the project, such as furniture, computers, tablets, etc.

Only expenses directly related to project implementation are eligible.

Ineligible expenditures

The following expenses are ineligible:

  • rent, electricity, maintenance and repair costs, insurance or bank charges related to the organization’s day-to-day operations;
  • the remuneration of employees for the organization’s regular activities;
  • expenditures incurred before the subsidized program begins;
  • the purchase of a prize for a contest;
  • purchasing promotional items, such as pens, mugs, bags, etc.;
  • repayment of a debt, accumulated deficit or loan;
  • expenditures reimbursed under another program.

Project assessment criteria

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

The committee makes a recommendation to the Minister regarding which projects to support.

Projects are assessed based on the following criteria:

  1. The project’s relevance in the context of the pandemic, which is assessed based on the needs of the organization, the community or territory concerned and the project’s match with program objectives and policy directions (30%). 
  2. Quality and feasibility, which are assessed in light of the project’s proposed resources, the organization’s expertise, the credibility of its budget forecasts, the consistency of the timeline and the overall quality of file presentation (30%).
  3. The project’s impact on the community and its scope over time, which are assessed based on the project’s positive impact on the target issue, its contribution to the community, its short- and medium-term benefits and its applicability to other communities (20%).
  4. Innovation, which is assessed with regard to the project’s uniqueness and its use of innovative means (20%)

Terms and conditions for the granting of financial assistance

When financial assistance is granted, the organization must sign a financial assistance agreement with the Minister of Justice.
 
This agreement specifies:

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

Accountability

A progress report will be required for all projects to show:

  • the progress of projects;
  • the results obtained and expected;
  • expectations and obstacles encountered or anticipated;
  • incurred and upcoming expenditures.

A final report must be submitted within three months after the project ends, detailing:

  • the activities completed;
  • the results obtained;
  • the expenditures actually incurred.

The organization must also provide the annual financial report(s) that state, separately, the financial assistance paid by the Bureau du Fonds Accès Justice (BFAJ) (under Revenue) as well as project expenses (under Expenditures).

Form and supporting documents

Only duly completed and signed forms, accompanied by Schedules A, B and C as well as all required documents, are admissible.

Form and schedules (In French)

Additional documents to provide 

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

  • a copy of your organization’s administrative chart;
  • a copy of the project’s administrative chart;
  • a signed resolution of the governing body of the applicant organization designating the person authorized to sign this form and the financial assistance agreement;2
  • for projects that involve research on any access to justice issue and those aimed at disseminating information programs, a copy of the letter(s) of support from project partners;3
  • a copy of the constituting act;1, 2
  • a copy of the organization’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 for legal persons established in the public interest.

2 If the application is submitted by a band council, these documents must be submitted in accordance with the council's mode of operation (for example, founding deed, operating by-laws, resolution of the band council, annual general meeting, etc.).

3 For other types of projects, letters of support can also be provided.

Submitting an application for financial assistance

The project submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021.

The duly completed and signed financial assistance application form and all required documents must be submitted electronically using the Ministère’s online file hosting service (ownCloud).
 
To obtain a link to this online file hosting service (ownCloud), email your request to programmefaj@justice.gouv.qc.ca, specifying:

  • the organization’s full name and contact information (address, email and telephone number);
  • the name of the person authorized by the governing body to submit an application.

Please note that any request for a link to access the Ministère’s online file hosting service must be submitted no later than Friday, February 19, 2021.
 
No access links will be sent after this date. The organization must then send a hard copy of the duly completed and signed financial assistance application form and all required documents to the following address:

Financial assistance program to promote access to justice
Ministère de la Justice
Direction de l’aide aux victimes et des mesures d’accessibilité
1200, route de l’Église, 7th floor
Québec (Québec)  G1V 4M1

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