|Barry Penner, QC
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The Vancouver International Arbitration Centre (VanIAC) is reaching out to all First Nations in BC to offer our services in the field of dispute resolution.
As noted by former Lieutenant Governor Steven Point (in an open letter to BC Chiefs & Councils published earlier this year):
"Many BC First Nations are embarking upon economic development plans as a way of generating much needed revenue streams. A business relationship begins with a contract often written by lawyers with an eye to not only protect the interests of the First Nation, but also to limit liability for all parties in the event that something goes wrong.
When matters do get off course, conflicts over the meaning and intent of the original agreement can result in expensive and time-consuming legal proceedings. This is when good intentions can be disrupted or even disappear in the wake of heated and awkward conversations, that all-too-often are often accompanied by lengthy delays.
In the beginning of a business relationship, the last thing that seems to get any attention is what to do if there is a dispute. This means that if (or when) contractual arrangements break down, the parties are left scrambling to determine what to do.
Can the specific disagreement be resolved quickly and the rest of the business relationship be salvaged? In this atmosphere of uncertainty, it's sometimes easier to capitulate and allow the company to continue doing what its doing, even though Chief and Council are not totally satisfied with the end result."
VanIAC is ready and able to help, as a neutral third party, to help resolve your impasse as quickly as possible…and with as little expense as practicable.
Court-based litigation is notoriously time consuming and costly, and can result in negative media publicity. Arbitration is typically much quicker (we all know that time is money) and is generally confidential.