“It will be a brief introduction to the new Family Law Act that was enacted in 2013 in British Columbia,” Civil and Family Mediator, Emily Pos explains of her upcoming session. “…So, it will be a little primer on the new BCE Family Law Act, and a little about what mediation is, and what the process looks like, and how people can engage in that process.”
Pos goes on to explain the impact of the new act, saying it “was a major redesign of the Family Law Legislation in B.C., and recognized that a lot more people are being self represented in the legal family law system,”
The foundation of this new act, according to pos, is the provincial government’s endeavour to “steer people as much as possible to alternative dispute resolution [and] lower conflict resolution methods.”
Pos also says while much of our “cultural literature” focuses on the court system as a primary source for conflict resolution, this is not in fact the most popular method.
“The reality is that lots of people can’t afford court, or don’t have the time for it, or just don’t want that level of high litigation in their lives, but they have real disputes that need real solutions.”
The impact of an unresolved conflict is multifaceted.
“There is a lot of social cost to conflict,” Pos goes on to say. “We know that people are more stressed, they’re distracted, their health suffers, their work suffers, and their engagement with the community suffers,” says Pos.
Pos goes on to add, “[When] people are able to resolve their conflicts in a healthy and timely manner, they are better able to engage in their world.”
Pos says an example of successful mediation is that of the provincial government vs. teachers’ union.
“We did see as a province, that there was a lot of talk, and a lot of conflict, and a lot of dispute from both sides, but then finally, when they all came to the table and sat down with a mediator, shut the doors, put their heads down, and really focused through a mediation process, they were able to come to a solution.”
Pos’ information session is taking place inside the North Peace Cultural Centre’s multipurpose room, commencing at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday October 16.
Conflict Resolution Week runs across the province October 11 – 18.
Also, check out B.C.’s official Conflict Resolution Week website, which is full of useful tips, information, and will also include a series of videos launched every day tackling different areas of mediation such as workplace, family and environmental meditation.