Montréal, April 13, 2022 – In response to the tabling of Bill 34 by the Minister of Justice, community organizations have unanimously acknowledged the significant progress represented by this proposal for access to justice, especially for vulnerable people. 

By allowing lawyers and notaries to practice their profession on behalf of the public within NPOs and to offer free or non-profit legal services, which was not formerly the case, the Ministère de la Justice, the Barreau du Québec, and the Chambre des notaires have finally recognized the essential contribution of legal professionals who support litigants in a community context. At a time when litigants are struggling to find reasonable and affordable access to justice, this bill also represents a concrete and necessary step towards increasing the capacity of NPOs to better meet the needs of the general public.

 Involvement of the community: the key to success

The signatories of this press release wish to reiterate their willingness to continue to participate in the ongoing consultations on this issue as initiated by the Barreau du Québec, particularly at the stage of developing the regulatory framework. Community stakeholders have proven expertise with litigants who face barriers to accessing justice. As such, the successful development and implementation of the new regulations depend on their participation in the entire process. 

“The Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE) welcomes this important step forward in improving access to justice. NPOs have been working for decades, on the front lines with community stakeholders, to make justice more accessible. We are pleased that this work and its necessity are recognized by the proposed legislation. We look forward to participating in the review of Bill 34 and the development of the regulatory framework for the practice of law in our organizations.” [Cédric Gagnon-Ducharme, president of the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement]