Funding Policies

What We Fund

The Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund provides support for legal work and associated costs only. This includes:

  • Lawyer’s fees to a maximum of $80 per hour.
  • Expert fees, as required by the lawyer, to a maximum of $80 per hour.
  • Reasonable Disbursements.
  • All Applicable Taxes.

Grant Amounts:

While we do not set specific limits on the amount of EDRF funding awarded, the average size of an EDRF Grant is $5,000.

Client Contribution:

We request that all applicants contribute financially to their EDRF project in the form of a client contribution. The client contribution is a commitment on behalf of the applicant to pay a specified amount towards the legal work performed on their behalf. We request a minimum of a client contribution of 10 per cent of legal fees and 25 per cent of all expert work performed on the file. In the event where the applicant has the potential to profit significantly from a positive legal outcome, we may require a larger client contribution on the file. In the event that you are unable to afford a client contribution, you may request in your application to have this requirement be waived. However, please note that the selection committee looks very favourably on client contribution commitments when reviewing applications.

Types of Grants:

The Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund issues three types of Grants:

  1. Development Grants: Initially, we encourage our applicants to apply for a development grant. A development grant provides the applicant with up to 30 hours of funding to work with a lawyer to develop a legal opinion. The legal opinion is a “road map” that charts the different legal options available to the client to resolve the dispute. The client, in conjunction with their lawyer, then decides if there is merit in pursuing the legal action. If the decision is to proceed, the client may apply for a second round of funding called a “Supplemental Grant”. Please note that development grants are usually capped at approximately $3,000.
  2. Direct Grants: Occasionally, we receive applications where the legal work required has previously been identified, eliminating the need for an initial legal opinion. In such a case we issue a direct grant that allows work to begin on the issue immediately.
  3. Supplemental Grants: A supplemental grant is simply funding awarded to enable the continuation of work begun on a Development or Direct grant. As a client, if you are running out of funding from your grant, you are invited to submit a Supplemental grant. We cannot guarantee that your supplemental grant will be funded.