The Evolution of Mediate BC

Mediate BC Society was created in 2010 through the merger of two separate not-for-profit societies – the BC Dispute Resolution Innovation Society (previously the BC Dispute Resolution Practicum Society) (the “Innovation Society”) and the BC Mediator Roster Society (the “Roster Society”). These organizations shared a public interest vision: to ensure excellent dispute resolution to British Columbians through a commitment to qualified professionals.

The Innovation Society was formed in 1998 by the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Dispute Resolution Office (“DRO”) (as it was then named), the Office of the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia (“OCJ”) and a number of other stakeholders[1]. A core focus of this Society was to ensure that skilled, experienced and ethical dispute resolution (“DR”) practitioners were available to support government initiatives in increasing access to justice (“A2J”).  The DRO and the OCJ held seats on the board, and the OCJ continues today to appoint a member of the Bench to Mediate BC’s Board of Directors.

The Roster Society was also formed in 1998, and was similarly created through collaboration between the DRO and organizations interested in protection of the public. Although mediation was becoming more popular at this time, no other body was in place to regulate the emerging profession.  At the same time, the DRO was instituting the Notice to Mediate (“NTM”) regulation[2].  Given the confidential nature of the mediation process, the DRO was concerned that there was no way to ensure that vulnerable parties were not subject to coercion and harm.  It was in response to these concerns of the DRO that the Roster Society was created.

Mediate BC and its predecessors have evolved over the years to play an integral role in the justice sector of British Columbia.  Our history is rooted in a commitment to serving the public through innovation and quality of dispute resolution. We have achieved this through advocating and supporting the development of the profession of dispute resolution practitioners through practicum training programs, through the maintenance of high standards for admission to and continuation in our rosters [3], and through our public education and outreach efforts to spread the word about the benefits of dispute resolution processes offering an alternative to litigation and other costly and time consuming processes.  At our core is a belief in the power to resolve conflict through self-determination, empowerment and collaboration. Our future will build on these beliefs and our experience within the justice sector to expand public awareness of the power of mediation, med-arb, and other innovative processes, and an assurance of competency in the practitioners who we qualify to be a part of our various rosters.

 


[1] In addition to the DRO and the OCJ, organizations involved in the founding of the Practicum Society were the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, BC Arbitration and Mediation Institute (now ADRBC), the Canadian Bar Association, the Mediation Development Association of BC, the Surrey-White Rock Mediation Centre and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

[2] For further information, see the Mediate BC Notice to Mediate page and the BC Government Notice to Mediate Regulations. The text of the regulation may be found here.

[3] Family Roster, Civil Roster, Med-Arb Roster, Child Protection Roster and Associate Rosters (the “Rosters”).

 

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