Courts make cy-près awards when it is not practical to distribute all proceeds of a class action to individual plaintiffs. The Law Foundation of Ontario’s Access to Justice Fund is a permanent fund available to receive such awards.
Since 2010, the Access to Justice Fund has received 16 cy-près awards. The first and largest award was $14.6 million from Cassano v. TD Bank, a consumer rights class action. The Foundation manages the distribution of awards according to all terms or conditions that apply.
Cy-près awards are a variable source of revenue for The Law Foundation of Ontario. The Foundation hopes that its track record will inspire confidence and encourage further cy-près awards in its favour. This will allow the Access to Justice Fund to continue as a vibrant and transformative feature of the national access to justice landscape.