March 31, 2013 by
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is reaching the midway point of a six-month pilot aimed at streamlining part of its mediation process and saving mediators’ time.
Effective Jan. 2, the pilot program allows the parties involved in mediation who have already been assigned mediation dates, or who have files more than 50 days old, to go through one e-mail address to request rescheduling or adjournment.
“We introduced this pilot project to ensure primarily that we could continue to clear the backlog as quickly as possible while still offering mediation within the required 60 day timeline,” said Kristen Rose, a spokesperson for FSCO.
The commission’s mediation backlog is significant, and it has been working to address it for some time. Last September, FSCO began assigning up to 2,000 files per month to private vendor ADR Chambers to help reduce the backlog. For 2012, the mediation backlog was 17,540 and the average wait time for mediation was 414 days.