Access to legal advice

What is it?

It is financial assistance allocated by the Québec Ombudsman to pay for legal counsel.

Who qualifies for it?

According to the Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings relating to public bodies, the service is for anyone who:

  • discloses a wrongdoing or wants to do so;
  • cooperates in an audit or investigation stemming from a disclosure;
  • believes he or she has suffered reprisal stemming from a disclosure, audit or investigation.
    • Exclusion: Reprisal may constitute a prohibited practice within the meaning of the Act respecting labour standards, in particular, regarding employment and work conditions. In such cases, you are not eligible for access to legal advice managed by the Québec Ombudsman. Instead, contact the CNESST. You may be represented by a CNESST attorney, or by your union, depending on your situation.
  • conveys information to the Autorité des marchés publics or the Commission municipale du Québec;
  • makes a disclosure to the Commissioner for municipal integrity and investigations (CIME) within the Ministère des Affaires municipales du Québec (MAMH);
  • cooperates in an audit or investigation in the above two circumstances or feels he or she has suffered reprisal.

What you need to know

Financial assistance is granted if your specific situation warrants legal assistance. The Québec Ombudsman determines the terms for granting access to the service, especially the number of hours of legal counsel, on a case-by-case basis.

Please note: you must make a request for financial assistance to the Québec Ombudsman before retaining legal counsel.

For more information about the financial assistance granted by the Québec Ombudsman, see the Terms and conditions for access to legal advice (PDF, 318 KiB).

Processing of requests

After receiving a request for access to legal advice, we:

  • contact you within two business days;
  • examine the request’s admissibility;
  • if necessary, contact you to complete your file or obtain any documents of use;
  • do all we can to finish analyzing your request and deliver our decision within 30 days of receiving it.