A Dispute Resolution Conference (DRC) is an informal meeting between parties and is facilitated by a Tribunal representative. DRCs are conducted pursuant to the Surface Rights Rules.
The DRC serves several purposes. Some items for discussion may include:
- Identification and possible narrowing of the issues in dispute. For example, the parties might agree on facts such as effective dates, the number of acres involved, and some portions of the compensation.
- Exploration of how likely the parties are to settle the dispute outside of the Tribunal.
- Discussion of the possibility of Tribunal facilitated mediation to resolve the matter. See Mediation for surface rights.
- If parties are unlikely to settle, attempt to reach agreement on a hearing date, hearing location, possible evidence and witness lists, disclosure dates and any other facts needed to prepare for a hearing.
See the Dispute Resolution section of the Surface Rights Rules for a more detailed explanation of the DRC procedure.
Step 1. The Tribunal schedules the pre-hearing Dispute Resolution Conference (DRC) and invites parties to attend
Tribunal administration may schedule a DRC after completing intake of an application. For right of entry orders, a DRC will be scheduled shortly after the order issues to discuss compensation.
Parties to the application are invited to attend, but unlike hearings, they are not open to the general public. Parties with authority to resolve outstanding matters are expected to attend.
Step 2. Parties prepare for the pre-hearing DRC
To prepare for the DRC, the parties should ensure they have access to any information and documents they think will be helpful to support their position on any issues in dispute.
Parties should also bring their long-term calendars to set a hearing date, if necessary.
Step 3. The pre-hearing DRC is held
Most DRCs occur by telephone conference, however, in some instances they happen by video or in-person. Parties can request an in-person DRC by contacting Tribunal administration. The Tribunal facilitator guides the discussion and gives the parties an informal setting to explore the likelihood of a resolution.
If necessary, the Tribunal facilitator seeks to set a hearing date, dates for disclosure, and ascertain any facts that are not in dispute. The Tribunal facilitator may also schedule a mediation if parties feel it may resolve the dispute.
The parties may decide to discuss costs at a DRC, but if they fail to reach an agreement about costs, the issue may be addressed at a hearing.
No detailed minutes will be taken at the DRC, though a DRC Record will be sent out to the parties who were invited outlining the outcomes and actions required (if any).
For more detailed information regarding DRCs and subjects discussed at the conferences, refer to the Dispute Resolution section of the Surface Rights Rules.
Step 4. Outcome of the DRC
Many potential outcomes could occur from a DRC. If the parties reach an agreement, they may enter into a private agreement or request a Tribunal order to reflect their agreement if the issue involves compensation for a right of entry order – see Settlement Agreement.
If the person who conducted the DRC is a Tribunal Member, you may request that member not be on the panel for your hearing, and you may ask to have that request noted on the DRC record.
Connect with the Land and Property Rights Tribunal:
Land and Property Rights Tribunal
2nd Floor, Summerside Business Centre
1229 91 Street SW
Edmonton, Alberta T6X 1E9