The BC government has greatly expanded the scope of court actions to which mandatory mediation may apply. Under the new rules, any party to a Supreme Court action can make an assessment that mediation would be productive, and then require the other parties to attend a mediation session. In some cases, mediation can be faster, less costly and less confrontational than a trial.

The only civil actions that do not allow for mandatory mediation are family law cases and actions involving compensation for physical or sexual abuse. The process was initially limited to motor vehicle actions, where it was used in over 3,000 actions since 1998. In 71% of those cases, all issues were resolved.

While the notice to mediate process makes attendance at a mediation session mandatory, it does not require people to settle their dispute: parties can still choose to go to trial if mediation fails.

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