Dispute Resolution Group-Companies Forum

Minutes of Meeting November 28, 2013


Attendees:                                                                 FSCO:

Mark Cekuta, Unifund (Acting Chair)                                Asfaw Seife              
Pierre Gravesande, Economical                                       Janine Macey
Suilan Lue, DGIC                                                          John Lobo
Liane Lapedis, DGIC                                                      Margaret Orlander
Tim Slaats, Aviva Canada                                               Christina Pearce
Bessie Ho, TD Insurance
Robb Walker, Belair Direct
Barry Rosenthal, Intact Insurance
Patrick Lau, Travelers (The Dominion)
Phyllis Kuipers, Travelers (The Dominion)
Maria Jolly, Unifund Claims                              
Maria Joshua, Sedgwick CMS Canada
Kim Thoms, RSA
Whitney Goodfellow, Northbridge Insurance via teleconference
Janice Hedington, Cooperators                                             
The Dispute Resolution Group – Companies Forum includes representative from auto insurance companies dealing with disputes before the Commission involving motor vehicle accident claims and Statutory Accident Benefits. It consults with the Dispute Resolution Group of Financial Services Commission of Ontario on issues relating to the dispute resolution system.
  1. Review and Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting – September 26, 2013
    Approved with amendments.
    Matters Arising from the Minutes
  2. E-Calendar for Arbitration Demo/DRCD:                                  
    Senior Arbitrator J. Macey updated members on the phased implementation of the arbitration electronic scheduling system – Arbitration eCalendar which will allow parties to receive legal notices of proceedings from FSCO electronically, to book arbitration pre-hearings and settlement discussions and to manage their files online. This phased implementation is now being tested by a caseworker using live cases. He is checking the FSCO Arbitration letters and notices to parties that will be auto-generated and sent electronically to parties with email addresses registered with FSCO. Later FSCO will begin the process of registering users for the enhanced Dispute Resolution Case Directory (DRCD-2), the portal which will provide access to the Arbitration eCalendar. 

    Training and orientation will be provided to Insurance Companies and their staff. Suggestions were made that an online tutorial; quick webinar training and a toll free number be made available to answer various enquiries.

    Senior Arbitrator J. Macey asked that if members have any comments or concerns that they be directed to her.
  3. Private DR Services Update:              
    A. Seife, Director, DRS provided an update on files assigned to ADR Chambers. The mediation backlog was eliminated as of August 19, 2013. The clearing of the mediation backlog is contributing to the high volume of new arbitration files. FSCO is continuing to assign an average of 500 arbitrations files per month to ADR Chambers.  
  4. Consent Dismissal Orders:
    As part of FSCO’s ongoing efforts to increase efficiency, the Dispute Resolution Practice Code was amended effective November 1, 2013, to allow for Consent Dismissal Orders (CDOs) in a limited set of circumstances only.  There was some discussion at the meeting on the purpose, the process and what circumstances might be considered.
  5. Pre-Hearing Issues:
    The current shortage of arbitrators has resulted in prehearings being overbooked. Parties are been contacted to reschedule where possible or to commence discussions on their own until an arbitrator could be made available to assist them.
  6. DRS Status Report – Statistics and Staffing Updates  
    Asfaw Seife, Janine Macey and John Lobo provided statistical updates for Mediation, Arbitration and Appeals with reference to the reports distributed to members.

    Judicial Review:
    No updates since May 30, 2013.

    Under Staffing:
    Mediation Unit:
    Vacant team leader position will be proceeding through the recruitment process.
    Vacant manager mediation support position is not being filled at this time

    Arbitration Unit:
    Two new arbitrators joined November 2013. And two new arbitrators are anticipated to start in December 2013 pending approvals.

Next Meeting – March 27, 2014