The Surface Rights Board is a quasi-judicial tribunal that grants right of entry and assists landowners/occupants and operators resolve disputes about compensation when operators require access to private land or occupied crown land to develop subsurface resources such as oil, gas, and coal or to build and operate pipelines and power transmission lines.

Related Documents
Overview of Process
Minimize 1. Applying for mediation

To request mediation, please contact the Surface Rights Board office by phone, email, or you may send the Surface Rights Board a completed Request for Mediation Form. Find contact information at Contact, and find the form under “Related Documents” on the side of this page

Minimize 2. Preparing for mediation

Parties with authority to resolve all matters must attend and participate in the Mediation. If a party is a corporation, the corporate representative must have full knowledge of the matter and unrestricted authority to resolve the dispute.

The parties should bring any information and documents to mediation that they think will be helpful to support their position on any issues in dispute. Documents exchanged are confidential.

A lawyer is not required but may attend if you wish.

Minimize 3. At mediation

The purpose of mediation is to reach a resolution of all issues, or to resolve as many issues as possible, with the assistance of one Member of the Surface Rights Board acting as the mediator. At mediation, all parties try to reach an agreement to settle their dispute. At the beginning of the mediation, the mediator will set ground rules and outline the procedure to be followed which may include the following:

  • brief overview by each party of what they view as the issue(s) in dispute and their position concerning same;
  • discussion between the parties of the basis for their position;
  • confidential meetings of the Mediator with each party;
  • discussion of possible methods to resolve the dispute;
  • decision by the parties whether to agree to the proposed methods of resolution.

The Mediation process is confidential. Information provided at the Mediation is without prejudice and cannot be used for any other purpose or referred to at a Hearing or subsequent proceedings. In the course of the mediation, a party may meet privately with its representative(s), with or without the Mediator. If the mediator meets privately with a party, anything said to the mediator by the party or its representative will remain confidential unless the parties waive the confidentiality. The only documents which will be kept by the Surface Rights Board from Mediation will be a Mediation Agreement, a Report of Mediation, and a Memorandum of Agreement (if entered into by the parties). All other documents and notes will be destroyed.

Minimize 4. After mediation

If the parties reach a settlement, the mediator helps them prepare a written Mediation Memorandum of Agreement. This document outlines what each party has agreed to do to resolve the dispute. 

If mediation does not resolve the issues, then the Surface Rights Board may schedule a hearing. The mediator who guided the mediation will not be assigned to hear the matter nor will they discuss the mediation process with the presiding panel. The mediator cannot be compelled as a witness in any further proceedings.

Once the mediation is over, the parties may have a better understanding of the issues and be more prepared at the hearing.

For more information, see Hearing.

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