Thinking about mediation but don’t know where to begin? Finding a mediator is a good place to start. Quebec has several resources to help you find one.
In most cases, the people having a conflict choose their mediator together and decide what qualifications the mediator should have.
For example, the mediator can be a professional specialized in a field related to the conflict, such as an accountant, engineer or a psychologist, lawyer or notary. The mediator can also be a volunteer in a citizen mediation centre, such as the community mediation services offered by some YMCAs in Quebec.
A certified mediator has received training recognized by the Ministère de la Justice (department of justice). For some kinds of cases, the mediator must be certified. This is the case for family mediation (for example, disputes concerning separation, child custody and support payments). Mediators for small claims court must also be certified.
Using a certified mediator can be a good idea even in cases where you don’t need a certified mediator. For example, certified mediators:
- Can hare their specialized knowledge and mediation experience with you.
- Must follow a code of ethics and have insurance to cover mistakes they make (liability insurance).
- Can ensure confidentiality – with a few exceptions, even a court can’t force a mediator to repeat what was said during mediation.
Where to find a mediator
Here are some useful resources.
In the case of separation, divorce or a disagreement about child custody or support, parents of dependent children can have a number of hours of free mediation.
Mediation in small claims court (claims of $15,000 or less)
If you have a file in small claims court, you can get free mediation sessions with a certified mediator. You can get up to three free hours. These hours can be used for work with a mediator during a session with you, or for work the mediator does to prepare outside the session.
This mediator is a lawyer or notary trained in mediation. Visit your local courthouse (office of the court) for more information.
Private mediators charge a fee for their services. The cost varies from one mediator to another.
The Institut de médiation et d’arbitrage du Québec (IMAQ) (institute of mediation and arbitration) is an organization of professionals from different fields. The organization recognizes their qualifications and experience as mediators. You can use the IMAQ’s search tool (French only) to find a mediator based on an area of specialization, such as an engineer, accountant or lawyer.
You can also find a certified mediator for a civil dispute by consulting the Quebec government’s search tool. This allows you to search for a mediator with the most relevant background for handling your conflict (example: lawyer, notary, social worker).
Some organizations provide free mediation services. For example, alternative justice organizations (AJOs) sometimes offer citizen mediation sessions.
For more information, visit the websites of the Association des organismes de justice alternative du Québec (ASSOJAQ) (association of alternative justice organizations) (French only) and Équijustice (network of restorative justice and citizen mediation).
Other organizations offer this type of service in the community. Contact community organizations in your area to learn more.