Chapter 10: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The Board realizes that many issues are resolved through direct discussions between landowners and company representatives and never come to the Board’s attention. The Board also recognizes that disagreements do happen occasionally, and may even escalate into disputes.

Can the NEB help me settle a dispute with a company?

The Board encourages open and respectful discussion between parties affected by NEB regulated projects and facilities. Through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services, the Board can help parties work through disputes and find practical solutions to issues of disagreement without having to file a formal complaint with the Board.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

ADR is a collection of processes and techniques that can be used to reach resolution of issues as an addition to a traditional regulatory or litigated approach. ADR aims to be collaborative, respectful and considerate of everyone’s point of view. The Board promotes collaborative outcomes through the use of ADR skills and the use of facilitated meetings and mediations.

When should I consider ADR?

ADR can be chosen at any time during a dispute - and the earlier the better. The Board has neutral ADR specialists who have advanced training in negotiation, facilitation and mediation to assist in evaluating options for resolving your situation. ADR can be used to settle issues before a hearing, settle disagreements about property access, land reclamation or restoration, and reparation for crop loss and crossings concerns. The NEB ADR specialists work with you and the company to design and plan for a process to assist in reaching a mutually satisfactory outcome on outstanding issues.

What are some of the benefits of ADR?

  • ADR is fast, flexible and supports respectful discussions;
  • Mutually acceptable outcomes are practical and can meet specific needs;
  • Settlements are decided by the participants and are not imposed by NEB; and
  • ADR can complement other regulatory processes and, if outstanding issues remain , parties may continue to proceed through more formal regulatory processes.

Who can use ADR services? Do I have to use ADR?

Anyone directly involved in a dispute of NEB-regulated facilities is encouraged to use the Board’s ADR services. ADR is voluntary. You choose whether you would like to use an ADR approach to resolve your dispute.

Will I have to come to Calgary for ADR?

Not necessarily, when the ADR specialist plans an ADR session with you, a location will usually be agreed to between the parties.

Is the process private or is it open to the public too?

Everything that happens in ADR is private unless all parties agree that the information can be shared outside of the ADR participants. Nothing that is discussed in ADR goes on the official record for any NEB proceedings. Some parties may have their lawyer attend ADR sessions, but having a lawyer is not mandatory.

Will an NEB Board Member get involved in my ADR process?

A Board Member could be directly involved in an ADR process if this is what the parties want. Board Members who have been involved in an ADR process will not be part of a decision making panel if any unresolved issues later go to a more formal Board process.

What happens if ADR fails?

You will still be able to participate in the NEB and NRCan processes which remain available to help address
your issues.

Does ADR force a decision on me?

ADR is a voluntary process. No decision will be imposed on participating parties. If there is a final resolution of issues, it must be based on a mutually satisfactory agreement reached by the parties.

Where can I get more information?

The NEB publication Alternative Dispute Resolution Guidelines [PDF 1028 KB] found online can also be obtained from the NEB's Library and is also found on the NEB’s website. For the Board’s full contact information, please see the back cover. You may also ask questions or request ADR by contacting the Board’s ADR Coordinator through our toll free number: 1-800-899-1265.

 

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