Next April, the CRT will start resolving many motor vehicle accident (MVA) personal injury disputes in British Columbia. This will include determinations of whether an injury is a “minor injury”, disputes about accident benefits, and disputes about damages and fault up to $50,000. Soon we’ll also handle most disputes under the Societies Act and the Cooperative Association Act. We’re working hard to implement these new areas of jurisdiction, and we’ll be reporting on our progress in a series of blog posts. These blog posts each highlight 3 aspects of our team’s hard work behind the scenes to keep you up to date on our progress.
Last month, we talked about expanding the Solution Explorer content for MVA personal injury disputes. This content is now almost complete, and the next step is testing the new legal information and self-help tools with community legal advocates. We plan to begin this testing mid-January. If you represent a community legal organization, and want to give us feedback on this new material, we would be grateful for your help. Please contact us with your name and the organization you represent, and we’ll include you on our advocates roster.
Over the past few years, we’ve built the CRT technology in stages, to allow us to carefully test new features with the public before we implement them. Last week, we introduced a new Tribunal Decision Process (TDP) feature which allows parties to provide their arguments and evidence through a web portal, instead of by email. This will save a lot of time for parties and staff, and allow us to resolve disputes more quickly. The next step is Intake 2.0, a new version of our online application form which allows parties to tell us which pronouns they would like us to use when addressing them through the CRT process. Our core goal is to make the CRT as inclusive as possible, and that means making sure that we do everything we can to treat people fairly and respectfully through the process.
“Intake 2.0” also contains new features necessary for resolving MVA personal injury disputes. We expect to launch Intake 2.0 by the end of the year.
After a merit-based competition process and based on the CRT’s recommendations, the provincial government has appointed 4 full-time tribunal members in the past couple of months. This is helping us handle our existing caseload and helping us prepare for our coming jurisdiction over MVA personal injury disputes. We’re recruiting more full-time tribunal members with expertise in strata, small claims, and MVA personal injury disputes, as well as part time members with expertise in Societies Act and Co-operative Associations Act disputes. The CRT will begin handling societies and cooperative association disputes in early 2019.
Check back next month for 3 more highlights from our implementation work. As always, if you have questions or comments, please let us know.