Introduction

The Emergency Fund for Canadian Journalists has been established for its working journalist members in times of crisis. A free press in Canada means journalists should be able to report without fear of physical or verbal assault, intimidation, or any other form of persecution.

Thanks to the generous support of the Inspirit Foundation, the CAJ is able to provide micro-grants up to $500 for acute supports needed to cover short-term expenses related to threats and crises caused by one’s work as a journalist. The funding is not intended to provide long-term solutions and, in addition to applying for this acute source of financial support, the CAJ encourages any potential applicants to also seek out long-term measures to aid with the on-going issue.

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and will prioritize those from marginalized communities and those whose financial means limit them from seeking out other supports.

Program details

The fund will provide working journalists with emergency financial support (e.g., microgrants) to cover short-term costs resulting from unexpected work-related incidents.

Financial support could cover unexpected immediate needs, such as:

  • Small grants for psychological and medical expenses to address physical or emotional injury directly related to threats and crises caused by one’s work as a journalist;
  • Preliminary costs associated with legal support or litigation related to one’s work as a journalist
  • Support for training or digital security services
  • Other emergency situations affiliated with the practice of journalism (e.g., security, emergency lodging)

In order to ensure that funds are disbursed properly, and with the necessary accountability measures in place, eligibility for emergency support funds would be open to all voting members of the Canadian Association of Journalists, and would also require that:

  • The emergency situation or crises be a direct result of work in journalism;
  • The situation be confirmable by one trusted source aside from the applicant

An application form would be completed, outlining:

  • A short description of the need for funds and the acuteness of the threat or security problem
  • How the funds will be spent
  • Proof of the amounts needed
  • That no health and wellness benefits exist with the current employer to cover the expense, where applicable. Where benefits exist, but have already been fully utilized, a statement outlining this fact is needed.
  • Proof of financial need, to show both need for the micro-grant and possible need for one-time bursary towards CAJ membership
  • Basic information such as name, address, contact info, as well as banking information for funds to be deposited to the recipient
  1. Applications are received by CAJ staff, who perform an initial vetting of the application, to ensure the executive committee has everything they need to provide their decision.
  2. Application and all supporting documentation is securely shared with the executive committee.
  3. The executive committee discusses the application asynchronously and renders its decision, unless additional information is required.
    1. The executive committee is provided full powers to determine the approved value for each application, approving or declining in whole or in part.
    2. Should additional information be required, CAJ staff will request this from the applicant and return the results to the executive committee to continue the proceedings.
  4. When the executive committee renders its decision, the decision is passed on to the applicant by CAJ staff.
  5. If approved, CAJ staff proceed with payment to the applicant, ensuring to request/receive any necessary receipts/confirming documents.
  6. Applications are reviewed and assessed on a first-come, first-served basis.