The Board offers formal mediation for parties. Mediation is a process where a mediator helps parties to reach a voluntary, mutually acceptable solution on some or all of the issues in dispute.
Mediation helps parties better understand each other's point of view and can improve communication and future relations between the parties.
Mediation allows parties to:
- meet before the hearing
- better understand the issues
- take an active role in resolving the dispute
- identify common interests
- settle one or more of the issues without having a solution determined by the board
- be more cost effective
Mediators have training and experience in mediation and expropriation. They create a safe environment, encourage discussion, and help the parties find solutions. They do not take any sides and cannot make decisions about the dispute.
- may contact the parties to explain the mediation process and address any questions
- is neutral, guides discussions impartially and gives the parties feedback on their ideas
- encourages parties to look at the pros and cons of the different options for resolving the dispute
- helps the parties prepare a Mediation Memorandum of Agreement to sign if they reach a settlement
About the mediator
Don Sibbald, Q.C. provides mediation services for the Board. Mr. Sibbald was a Board Member for 12 years and brings a wealth of mediation and adjudication experience to this role.
Step 1. Request mediation
Both parties must agree to pursue mediation.
For further information or to arrange for a mediation, contact Jill Mason, Director, Dispute Resolution.
Step 2. Conference call
The parties participate in a conference call to determine deadlines and issues in dispute.
Dates may be set to exchange briefs between parties.
Step 3. Preparing for mediation
The parties should bring any information and documents to mediation that they think will be helpful to support their position on any issues in dispute. The Board will contact the parties about the exchange of documents before the mediation.
Parties with authority to resolve all issues must attend and participate. If a party is a corporation, the corporate representative must have full knowledge of the matter and unrestricted authority to resolve the dispute.
A lawyer is not required but may attend if the party wishes.
Resource: Mediation Guideline
Step 4. During mediation
The purpose of mediation is to reach an agreement on all issues, or to resolve as many issues as possible, with the assistance of a Board Member acting as the mediator. At mediation, all parties try to reach an agreement to settle their dispute.
At the beginning of the mediation, the mediator will set ground rules and outline the procedure to be followed, which may include the following:
- brief overview by each party of what they view as the issue(s) in dispute and their position concerning the same
- discussion between the parties of the basis for their position
- confidential meetings between the mediator and each party
- discussion of possible methods to resolve the dispute
- decision by the parties whether to agree to the proposed methods of resolution
The mediation process is confidential and not open to the public. Information provided at the mediation is without prejudice and cannot be used for any other purpose or referred to at a hearing or subsequent proceedings.
The parties may decide to discuss costs at the mediation. Agreements about costs may be included in the settlement agreement. If the parties fail to reach an agreement about costs the issue may be addressed at a Board hearing.
Private meetings with representatives
In the course of the mediation, a party may meet privately with its representative(s), with or without the mediator. If the mediator meets privately with a party, anything said to the mediator by the party or its representative will remain confidential unless the parties waive the confidentiality.
The only documents which will be kept by the Board from mediation will be the:
- Agreement to Mediate
- Report of Mediation
- Mediation Memorandum of Agreement (if entered into by the parties)
All other documents will be destroyed.
Step 5: After mediation
If the issues are resolved
If parties reach a settlement, the mediator helps them prepare a written Mediation Memorandum of Agreement. This document outlines what each party has agreed to do to resolve the dispute.
If the issues are not resolved
If mediation does not resolve the issues, then the Board may schedule a hearing. The mediator who guided the mediation will not be assigned to hear the matter nor will they discuss the mediation process with the presiding panel. The mediator cannot be compelled as a witness in any further proceedings.
Once mediation is over, the parties may have a better understanding of the issues and be more prepared at the hearing.