Province of BC Expands Civil Resolution Tribunal’s Jurisdiction

The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) currently hears strata property (condominium) disputes of any amount and small claims disputes $5,000 and under. The CRT is Canada’s first online tribunal, and encourages collaborative dispute resolution and makes binding decisions when people can’t agree.

On April 23, 2018, the Government of British Columbia introduced changes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act. If adopted, these changes will expand the CRT’s jurisdiction to include certain motor vehicle accident claims, as well as disputes involving non-profit societies and co-operative associations.

The following changes involve motor vehicle accident claims:

  • Expand the CRT’s scope to include making decisions on the following matters, where there is disagreement between the customer and ICBC:
    • The classification of an injury as minor injury;
    • The entitlement to receive accident benefits claimed; and
    • Liability and quantum decisions for motor vehicle injury claims below a threshold that will not exceed $50,000.
  • Allow lawyers to represent parties in motor vehicle claims, as ICBC will be represented by experienced adjusters.
  • Limit recovery of fees and expenses to what a person would be entitled to in the CRT, if a case valued below $50,000 is adjudicated in the B.C. Supreme Court.
  • Give CRT regulation- and rule-making power to limit experts and the power to require a single joint expert

The following changes are not related to motor vehicle accidents:

  • Cases heard regarding non-profit societies and co-operative associations will include routine disputes, such as access to records and the holding of meetings. Complex matters, such as amalgamations and dissolution, as well as disputes with business cooperatives, will remain within B.C. Supreme Court jurisdiction.
  • Improvements to reduce costs, complexity and delay associated with the resolution of cases include:
    • Correction of a provision that could result in a party missing a limitation period in default decisions
    • Repeal notice of objection process for tribunal small claims default orders.
    • Repeal facilitation-only jurisdiction so that the CRT will issue a decision that is enforceable by the courts.
  • Set time limits for judicial review proceedings.
  • Provide that the CRT is an expert tribunal for all matters except general small claims and motor vehicle liability issues.
    Apply acts that affect litigation in court to litigation in the CRT.

Read more about this announcement.