The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Fund (“McLachlin Fund”) was established in 2019 to provide financial support for innovative projects and programs to improve access to civil and family justice. The McLachlin Fund prioritizes projects and programs that address a defined access to justice problem in a way that can be effectively evaluated and scaled-up or adopted elsewhere if successful.
The McLachlin Fund has not yet reached its full capital goal and is continuing to raise funds. In 2022, the McLachlin Fund has a total of $500,000 available to support projects with the potential to improve access to civil and family justice in Canada. The McLachlin Fund anticipates making between three and five grants with that funding.
Who can apply?
Applicants from throughout Canada are invited to apply. Successful applicants will have a strong record delivering programs that facilitate and/or evaluate access to civil and family justice on a regional or national level. Successful applicants will also have demonstrated capacity to deliver and evaluate their proposed project and to contribute to a national dialogue on enhancing access to civil and family justice.
Applicants must be either a registered charity or other qualified donee under the Income Tax Act. A registered non-profit or non-incorporated organization may apply in partnership with an eligible organization. The eligible organization must serve as the lead applicant.
The McLachlin Fund was established to support innovative projects and programs that are:
- working to improve civil and family justice by developing and implementing practical solutions to enhance access to justice;
- stimulating innovation in the administration of civil and family justice;
- developing evidence-based methods for evaluating outcomes in the civil and family justice system;
- supporting collaboration and knowledge-sharing amongst jurisdictions and stakeholders; and
- raising awareness of and commitment to the need for improved access to civil and family justice at all levels of the justice system.
The McLachlin Fund defines access to justice issues broadly. The McLachlin Fund recognizes that access to justice issues affect certain vulnerable people and communities disproportionately, including Indigenous people, Black people and people of colour, and members of other equity-seeking groups.
Collaborations are welcome, as are pilot projects with the potential to scale up or be replicated elsewhere in Canada if successful. Projects need not be national in scope – projects with provincial/territorial and regional/local scopes are welcome.
The McLachlin Fund will not support:
- capital expenses;
- programs that deliver direct services on an ongoing basis (evaluations of programs or pilot projects will be considered); and
- projects that are being delivered outside of Canada.
Applicants can apply for between $25,000 and $100,000 per year for up to three years (for a maximum of $300,000 in total multi-year funding).
Please note that the McLachlin Fund will grant a total of up to $500,000 in 2022.
How to apply
The McLachlin Fund uses the SmartSimple online grant submission and management system. The SmartSimple Portal can be found at:
All eligible applicants are invited to submit an application through the SmartSimple Portal.
To be considered, please submit your application through SmartSimple by: 5:00pm PT August 29, 2022.
Applicants that are shortlisted will be asked to provide references and may be asked to provide additional information if needed. All applicants will be advised as to the outcome of the process.
If you have any questions concerning your proposed project or the application process, please contact staff at [email protected]
Please note: The Law Foundation of British Columbia provides secretariat services to the McLachlin Fund to support the assessment and administration of the granting process, including review of all materials.
Submitting an application is not a guarantee of funding.