How We Innovate

Mediate BC has a long history of innovative projects in the conflict management realm. We support other organizations and government in developing a better understanding of specific conflict situations so that we can all find a better way of moving towards collaborative processes to manage and resolve these situations.

Every community and organization has different needs. We work with you to help analyse current situations and consider and test new alternatives.

Past projects and innovations include:

 

Designated Roster Organization for Notice to Mediate Regulations

1998 – Present

The Roster Society and now Mediate BC has been the “designated roster organization” for all Notice to Mediate (NTM) regulations since they were created in 1998. These regulations promote earlier settlement in Supreme Court of British Columbia matters, and create a mechanism that allows parties to compel other parties to attend mediation. NTM regulations require Mediate BC to appoint a mediator from our rosters in the event the parties are unable to jointly appoint one. NTM regulations now exist under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, Homeowner Protection Act for residential construction matters, Law and Equity Act for general civil matters and family matters, and as the Education Mediation Regulation under the School Act. As noted on the BC Government’s Notice to Mediate (Motor Vehicle) webpage: “The experience in many other jurisdictions, and the experience with B.C.'s Notice to Mediate for motor vehicle actions, is that mediation works even when a party is forced to mediate. From 2002 to 2012, about 37,000 motor vehicle actions were mediated. An average of 78% resolved each year.”

 

Court Mediation Program

1998 – 2016

Mediate BC administered the Court Mediation Program in a number[1] of registries of the BC Provincial Court.  More than 1,500 small claims actions were automatically streamed into mediation each year.  Starting in 2007, Mediate BC worked with the Ministry of the Attorney General (“MAG”), Court Services Branch and the Judiciary to design the “Robson Square Small Claims Pilot” which changed fundamentally how small claims cases were streamed in the Robson Square (Vancouver) Registry.  Mediate BC conducted a large file review, which enabled analysis of volume by “case type”.  This information was then used by MAG to design four primary “streams” by MAG and cases were allocated to the streams based on case type.

 

Advisory and Working Group for the Civil Resolution Tribunal

2013 – 2016

Mediate BC participated extensively in the design process for implementing the Civil Resolution Tribunal for strata claims and small claims matters. A fundamental piece of the tribunal design includes triage and streaming.

 

Justice Access Centers’ Advisory Roles

2010 - ____

Mediate BC was invited to work with the Family Justice Services Division of the then Ministry of Justice in 2010 to design a civil program to be part of the Vancouver Justice Access Centre (VJAC).  Key in this design was early assessment and triage to assist VJAC clients sort out their complex problems and to recommend a pathway for them to use to seek resolution. This Mediation Advisor program was also a component of the Victoria Justice Access Centre when it opened.

 

Child Protection Mediation Practicum

2006 – 2011

Supported significantly by grants from the Law Foundation, the Child Protection Mediation Practicum (2006 to 2011) trained mediators, and in particular some 80 indigenous mediators, to qualify for inclusion in the Child Protection Mediator Roster the Child Protection Mediator Roster practicums.  This extremely challenging area of practice involved the development of partnerships with indigenous organizations throughout BC[2], including its most remote areas, to serve what has been and remains a great need.  We are proud to have shared the 2012 Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Prize for Partnerships with our partners in this project.

 

The Technology-Assisted Family Mediation Project

2007 – 2013

Learnings from this multi-phased project in collaboration with the Province’s Family Justice Counsellors became the Suggested Practice Guidelines for Family Mediators. The results were synthesized in a report titled: Mediating from a Distance: Suggested Practice Guidelines for Family Mediators, which was translated into French and adapted by the Barreau du Québec for civil and commercial mediators.

 

Aboriginal Human Rights Project

2011

Exploring a First Nation’s community-based approach to human rights dispute resolution. Results can be found in this report: First Nations Legal Traditions and Customary Laws and the Human Rights Complaint Process.

 

Child Support Eligibility Mediation Project

2013

The Project provided free mediation services to parents and adult children to help them work through the legal and practical issues around how the parents would continue to support the child past the age of 19 – primarily as they pursued post-secondary studies. Results are available in this report: Evaluation of the Child Support Eligibility Mediation Pilot Project.

 

 

The Sliding Scale Family Mediation Project

2013 – 2017

For 4 years this program offered needs assessment and community referrals, as well as mediation at an affordable cost tailored to the parties’ income and assets.

 

Med-Arb

2014 – present

Ground-breaking and foundational work in the med-arb process explored this emerging dispute resolution tool.  At that time, there was no policy framework for practitioners or clients in Canada, but increasing interest in a process that combined both mediation and decision-making in order to achieve finality, particularly in family law. This led to our current Standards of Conduct for Med-Arb and to the Med-Arb Roster.

 

The Family Unbundled Legal Services Project

2016 to 2017

A period of planning and development that led to the roster of family lawyers offering unbundled legal services in BC, now hosted by the People’s Law School. This project offered support to families, who are seeking assistance for independent legal advice, agreement drafting, etc. at more affordable costs.

 

Papers

Alternative Approaches to Preventing, Minimizing or Responding to Complaints of Bullying or Harassment in the Workplace (2014)

Paper: A Case for Mediation: The Cost-Effectiveness of Civil, Family, and Workplace Mediation (2014)

A Short History of Family Mediation in BC

The Development of Mediation in British Columbia, Canada by Jerry McHale, Q.C.

 

 

 

[1] There were two registries until 2000; after that time, the Program expanded to a peak of six registries (reduced to five when the Delta registry closed).

[2] With the support of partnership grants from the Law Foundation, Mediate BC partnered with Carrier Sekani Family Services, Interior Delegated Agencies, Hulitan Social Services and Kla-how-eya Healing Services.

Contact Us

If you are interested in working with Mediate BC to develop an innovative approach to conflict management in your field of interest, please contact us.

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