At a special ceremony held in Edmonton, Alberta on July 19, 2017, a historic Memorandum of Co-operation and Understanding (MOU) was signed by Karim Sunderji, Chairman of the Conciliation and Arbitration Board for Canada (NCAB) and Barry Marshall, President of the Alternative Dispute Institute of Alberta (ADRIA).

The agreement recognizes the valuable role that both organizations play in the promotion and delivery of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), the contribution of ADR to our justice system, the importance of nationally and internationally recognized standards of training and accreditation, and a commitment to finding new opportunities for collaboration and knowledge creation within the ADR community.

By strengthening and formalizing the relationship between CAB and ADRIA, the two organizations will be able to better learn from each other in areas including dispute prevention and helping parties move beyond conflict.

In his remarks, NCAB Chairman Karim Sunderji highlighted the role that CAB plays in the quality of life of the community. “The Ismaili Muslim tradition for decades has been one of resolving disputes and differences through an entirely voluntary and confidential process of mediation, conciliation and arbitration within the community. During the last 30 years of the establishment of Conciliation and Arbitration Boards in Canada, we have handled about 4,000 cases with a success rate of close to 75%.”

The event was attended by many dignitaries, elected officials, members of the legal, judiciary and ADR community and civil society leaders in Alberta. The Honourable Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta, was the guest of honour and delivered the keynote address. In her address she shared that, “many issues that affect every day Albertans, like family disagreements, misunderstandings and civil matters can often be resolved through dispute resolution. I would like to commend both CAB and ADRIA for your ongoing professionalism and commitment to high quality training for your members.”

After the formal program and reception, guests enjoyed tours of Belle Rive Jamatkhana and Centre, Edmonton’s first purpose-built Jamatkhana, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.