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Alberta Condominium Dispute Resolution Tribunal has been a long-awaited creation however, in a surprising turn of events, the Government of Alberta has confirmed that it will not proceed this year as anticipated due to limited resources.
The Tribunal was to provide an alternate means for condominium owners and Board members to resolve disputes, rather than going through a traditional courtroom process, which can be costly and time-consuming. Dispute Tribunals use a process that moves from negotiation to mediation to tribunal. Not all steps are necessary if disputes can be solved in the earlier stages. In Alberta, there is currently a similar model with the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS), but this deals with landlord/tenant disputes only.
In December 2014, the Alberta Condominium Act was passed which included the need to establish a dispute tribunal system after the other phases of the legislation were completed. Eight years later, there is still no clear timeline of when the Dispute Resolution Tribunal will proceed.
The Minister of Service Alberta confirmed that the resources are not available to move forward with the Tribunal in 2022. The Government of Alberta is focused on other areas such as improving our health care system’s capacity and the recovery of our economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government expressed disappointment at the decision and hopes to see more progress on this issue. The Tribunal could be reassessed and implemented at some time in the future, but the timing remains unclear.
The Minister confirmed that the department will continue collaborating with stakeholders including CCI to develop a model for a tribunal that will meet the needs of the condominium community, and is affordable and effective. This announcement will no doubt be disappointing to those who supported the establishment of a Tribunal.
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