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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Often it is preferable to resolve conflicts or disagreements outside of the court system. There are a variety of formal ways to do this. Two of the most common are mediation and arbitration. The organizations listed below may be able to help you with alternative dispute resolution. You may also want to see the section on Complaint and Advocacy.

For additional resources about alternative dispute resolution, see the topic: Mediation and alternative dispute resolution


Suggested Resources

The Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS) offers landlords and tenants an alternative means of resolving serious disputes outside of court. The Service is designed to be faster, more informal and less expensive than the courts. A tenant or a landlord who has concerns related to an eviction, unpaid rent/utilities, security deposit, damages, repairs or other common disagreements can use the service.

Related legal topic(s): Landlord and tenant, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Alberta Resources

The Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society is a not for profit organization which provides education and information to its members and the general public on solving disputes more effectively. They provide an annually updated Directory of Arbitrators and Mediators in Alberta.

Related legal topic(s): Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

This website from Alberta Courts provides access to videos about the various Mediation programs available for the Civil (non-family) Mediation program and the Family and Child Intervention

Related legal topic(s): Family law general resources, Legal process, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

The Resolution and Court Administration Services Division provides administrative support to all the courts within the province, including electronic legal information services through Alberta Law Libraries. Topics in this section of the Alberta Courts website include: Mediation Programs; Family Justice Services; Court Forms and Orders Services (formly known as the Family Law Information Centre (FLIC) and LInC - Law Information Centres); Judgments; Jury Duty; ; Sheriff - Civil Enforcement; Review / Assessment Office; Rules of Court; Transcript Management Services; Publications; Video Conferencing. They also offer: Information services for the public on court procedures and legal services options; assistance with locating and filling out court forms; and referrals to other community legal services, as well as assessment services, dispute resolution services for child support, family and child medication, conflict intervention, family mediation, and civil mediation to help parties who filed an action in small claims court to reach a negotiated settlement.

Related legal topic(s): Civil actions, Courts and court judgments, Legal services, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Self-representation, Small claims court

Family Justice Services are a group of programs and services offered by Alberta Justice in collaboration with the courts of Alberta. Family Justice Services works directly with individuals and also with the judges of the Alberta Provincial Court and Court of Queen's Bench to help people get appropriate solutions for their family law issues. The site provides information on a variety of issues such as the Family Law Act, formsand quick links for lawyers, family law kits and court information, child support assistance, online learning,  courses and seminars for parents, mediation and dispute resolution services, etc. Programs are available to qualifying parties either at no cost or for a nominal charge. FJS offices are located throughout the province.

Related legal topic(s): Family law general resources

Family Justice Services are a group of programs and services offered by Alberta Justice in collaboration with the courts of Alberta. This webpage provides general information for those who are representing themselves in a family matter in either Court of Queen's Bench or The Provincial Court of Alberta. Family Law includes all of the legal issues that arise when couples separate or when parties are parenting children together. Family Law does not include criminal charges against a family member, or issues that arise when a family member dies. This site provides general information only.

Related legal topic(s): Adoption, Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Self-representation, Spousal support

Alberta Family Mediation Society (AFMS) advocates resolution of family conflict through the use of mediation by qualified professionals. AFMS offers a family-centered conflict resolution process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) helps the participants in negotiating a consensual, informed and fair agreement.

Related legal topic(s): Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

The General Insurance OmbudService (GIO) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that has been in operation since 2002 providing dispute resolution services for conflicts between complainants and their insurers in the areas of home, auto and business insurance. GIO’s neutral and professional mediators and experienced Information Officers help complainants and insurance companies work toward a solution that is in the best interests of both parties in a fair, independent and impartial environment. (PDF - 2 pages)

Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Business, Consumer protection and fraud, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Catholic Social Services is a multi-function social service agency that serves people of all faiths and cultures throughout central Alberta. Founded in 1961, the agency has grown to deliver more than 100 programs.CSS is divided into Service and Program areas offered in five distinct Regions throughout central and northeast Alberta. Major Service areas include: Children, Family, and Community Service,Community Outreach and Disability Service, Immigration and Settlement Service, and Substance Abuse and Corrections Service.

Related legal topic(s): Corrections, Disabilities, Drugs and alcohol, Immigration, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Parole, Refugees, Reintegration

The Community Mediation Calgary Society (CMCS) is a non-profit organization of volunteers available to assist in resolving conflicts between neighbors and within community associations and non-profit organizations. They are a group of professional mediators who provide free, confidential and voluntary non-legal) dispute resolution service to the community.The CMCS can be contacted at (403) 269-2707.

Related legal topic(s): Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

The Better Business Bureau of Central & Northern Alberta offers a dispute resolution service to consumers and businesses that has a two-fold goal: Helping the consumer with a marketplace problem. Helping legitimate businesses correct or remove by voluntary action the source and cause of the complaint.

Related legal topic(s): Business, Consumer protection and fraud

Misunderstandings, miscommunications, and mistakes happen: your BBB’s Dispute Settlement Centre is available to help consumers and businesses resolve marketplace quarrels  when they arise. Your BBB assists companies to resolve disputes by providing mediation and arbitration services.  Unique to this BBB is our ability to provide both in-house resolution services to companies and outsource the management of dispute resolution programs for  a select group of clients, such as acting as the Arbitration Administrator for the Jurisdictional Assignment Plan of the Alberta Construction Industry.

Related legal topic(s): Business, Consumer protection and fraud

The Edmonton Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board (LTAB) is a City of Edmonton agency which provides advice and information to landlords and tenants of residential property in Edmonton. They work to address tenancy issues and ensure that both tenants and landlords are aware of their rights and obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act.

The Alberta Residential Tenancies Act allows a council to set up a Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board. A council is defined as a council of a city, a town, a village, a municipal district or a Métis settlement.  The functions of a Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board are:
  • to advise landlords and tenants in matters relating to a tenancy;
  • to receive complaints and to attempt to mediate disputes between landlords and tenants (mediation occurs when the Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board brings you and the tenant together to talk about the issues with the assistance of a mediator. You then try to reach an agreement yourselves);
  • to make information available for the purpose of educating and advising landlords and tenants about rental practices, their rights, and available remedies; and
  • to receive complaints concerning conduct that is in breach of the laws governing tenancies and to investigate those complaints.  

In Alberta, there are Landlord and Tenant Advisory Boards in:

A Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board will only serve residents of the particular municipality or area that set it up. If there is not a Board available in an area, residents can call Service Alberta.

Related legal topic(s): Landlord and tenant

The Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre (MRJC) is a not-for-profit organization devoted to building safer and peaceful communities. They provide mediation services to people and groups in conflict, and restorative justice services to victims and offenders. These services are offered free of charge to anyone in the greater Edmonton region (Alberta).

Related legal topic(s): Mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Restorative justice

The Alberta Property Rights Advocate Office (PRAO) is an impartial, non-partisan provincial office within the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General that works to protect property rights of the people of Alberta. The Office helps Albertans and government agencies and Ministries understand and comply with property laws and procedures, and advocates for fairness and balance when property rights conflict with public needs.
Related legal topic(s): Advocacy, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Municipal information and bylaws, Real estate and home ownership

The society providse services that support the resolution of concerns in our community by helping our community members to communicate concerns and resolve conflict respecfully.

Related legal topic(s): Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

Canada/Federal

The ADR Institute of Canada (ADR Canada) is a national non-profit organization that provides national leadership in the development and promotion of dispute resolution services in Canada and internationally. "ADR Connect" is provided to assist in locating an ADR professional. This website allows visitors requiring the services of a qualified mediator to quickly identify suitable professionals to help settle their dispute. Users can search by locality, qualifications, background/case experience and date availability. ADRWeb.ca is intended to promote the practices of Canada's growing community of dispute resolution professionals, but also to expedite the scheduling process for those individuals & organizations that regularly require mediators.

Related legal topic(s): Mediation and alternative dispute resolution, Other legal personnel

From the website of the Canadian Judicial Council, this section talks about how litigation (starting a legal action and having your case heard in court) is only one way to resolve a dispute. You can resolve your dispute with or without the involvement of lawyers and without using the court system. These methods are called “alternate dispute resolution” (ADR).

Related legal topic(s): Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

The Commission's business is to make the Canadian Human Rights Act work for the benefit of all Canadians. There are three main aspects to its work: To provide effective and timely means for resolving individual complaints; To promote knowledge of human rights in Canada and to encourage people to follow principles of equality; and to help reduce barriers to equality in employment and access to services. Their website includes sections with publications and frequently asked questions.The Commission provides dispute resolution services in cases of alleged discrimination by federally regulated organizations, including employers, unions and service providers. This online resource addresses issues such as alternative dispute resolution and the dispute resolution process.

Related legal topic(s): Federal government departments, Human rights, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

The Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan (CAMVAP) is a program where disputes between consumers and vehicle manufacturers about alleged manufacturing defects or implementation of the manufacturers' new vehicle warranty can be put before a neutral third party (arbitrator) for resolution. Links to an overview of the CAMVAP arbitration process. From the homepage, an introduction to CAMVAP is available in several languages.

Related legal topic(s): Consumer protection and fraud, Driving, Mediation and alternative dispute resolution

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