B.C. proclaims Conflict Resolution Week, November 19 – 26, 2016

B.C. proclaims Conflict Resolution Week, November 19 – 26, 2016

For immediate release:  November 18, 2016

Vancouver, BC – Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton, on behalf of the Government of British Columbia, has proclaimed November 19 - 26, 2016 as Conflict Resolution Week in B.C. Mediate BC roster mediators will host events in communities across British Columbia to increase the awareness and benefits of healthy conflict resolution and encourage use of mediation.

“Mediation and conflict resolution services have inspired our government as we explore new and innovative ways to increase access to justice. We have proclaimed Conflict Resolution Week to celebrate the work and services that are delivered daily by the many skilled professionals across B.C. and to encourage British Columbians to learn more about the benefits of collaborative dispute resolution,” said Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. “From Canada’s first online Civil Resolution Tribunal for strata and small claims disputes to the mediation services available at our Family Justice Centres, our government is committed to ensuring the benefits of collaborative processes improve access to a justice system that is more affordable, less complex and resolves disputes earlier.”

Mediate BC’s Conflict Resolution Week theme is “Seize the Opportunity – Prevent, Manage, Resolve Conflict” Conflict can be positive if strategies are put in place that harness it for growth, innovation, and organizational change. Mediators have a toolbox of strategies for all stages of conflict resolution.

“Conflict affects many areas of life; workplace, family, small businesses, community, etc. Mediators can help people and organizations to manage conflict effectively in all of these areas. In addition to providing mediation services, many mediators also provide coaching and training to help build capacity to deal with ongoing and future conflict,” explains Mediate BC CEO Monique Steensma. “Our roster mediators are located all over the province and many also have specialized training in on-line dispute resolution. Mediation and its associated services are a very cost effective way to resolve disputes and build the skills necessary to manage conflict effectively in the future.”

A 2015 study by Mediate BC says mediation is an effective and affordable alternative to going to court. The survey indicates mediation resolved issues in more than 90% of civil, family and workplace disputes and that 86% of mediation participants were satisfied with the process. The survey also shows that mediation can cost a fraction of the cost of litigation.

Studies have shown mediation is a timely, cost-effective method to address conflict. A 2007 Canadian Department of Justice study showed that mediation cases resolved about five months more quickly than those litigated without mediation.

The comparisons are dramatic. While the average total fee for a completed civil, family or workplace mediation is less than $2,500, the 2016 survey of the legal community by the Canadian Lawyer magazine shows that the average legal fees for litigation of a civil dispute up to and including a two-day trial were $25,000 per party and $19,000 for a family litigation. 

B.C.’s Family Law Act encourages consensual out-of-court dispute resolution to resolve family law matters. The Ministry of Justice has 21 Family Justice Centres and three Justice Access Centres as part of an innovative, 21st century justice system that helps British Columbians navigate their legal matters more quickly and easily. Family Justice Centres throughout B.C. are staffed by professionally trained mediators who help people make decisions when they are experiencing separation or divorce. Justice Access Centres also provide families with mediation solutions that help keep many disputes out of court.

Background and facts about Mediate BC:
Mediate BC is a not-for-profit organization that leads, promotes and facilitates mediation and other collaborative dispute resolution processes throughout the province of British Columbia.  Mediate BC is committed to providing British Columbians with practical, accessible, and affordable choices to prevent, manage and resolve disputes. From November 19 – 26th, mediators across British Columbia are highlighting the benefits of mediation in talks and events as part of Conflict Resolution Week.  Full information on Conflict Resolution Week events is available at: 

Confllict Resolution Week 2016 Fact Sheet

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact: 
Monique Steensma 604-684-1300 x200
Suite 177, 800 Hornby St. Vancouver, BC  V6Z 2C5
Fax: 604-684-1306
Posted: November 18, 2016