TILMA contains a three-step dispute resolution process.

  1. Exhaustion of all other reasonable means to resolve the dispute (e.g., exhaustion of the dispute resolution procedures maintained by a regulatory authority);
  2. Consultations between the disputing parties on the matter have been unsuccessful; and,
  3. Consideration of the issue by an impartial arbitral panel, which makes a binding decision on the matter.

In order to exhaust all reasonable means to avoid a dispute, where a dispute falls within the jurisdiction of a regulatory body with an established dispute resolution process, that process must be used before accessing the procedures set out in Part IV of the TILMA.

To reduce the likelihood of frivolous complaints, the dispute panel can charge the full costs of a dispute resolution process to losing complainants. In addition, only one complaint on any particular matter will be considered at a time, thereby allowing a situation to be corrected and reducing the need for further complaints.

To ensure impartiality, when a dispute resolution panel is established, the complainant chooses one panellist from the Responding Party’s roster of panellists and the Responding Party chooses one panellist from the other Party’s roster of panellists. These two panellists then choose a third person from either roster to act as the chair of the panel.

A monetary penalty can only be imposed by a panel against a Party after the three stages listed above have run their course and a subsequent panel finds that the Party has not brought itself into compliance within the amount of time given to do so by the panel.

The maximum penalty is $5 million and would only apply to the provincial governments of Alberta and British Columbia as Parties to the Agreement.

To assist British Columbia and Alberta in implementing the TILMA, a Secretariat, funded jointly by each government, has been established in Victoria, British Columbia. The TILMA Secretariat is principally responsible for administering the dispute resolution processes and procedures of the TILMA in an objective and impartial manner. Additionally, the Secretariat provides coordination, administrative and technical support such as maintaining the tilma.ca website.

Frequently Asked Questions

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