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Along with files of a criminal nature, NSRJ also works with disputes between
neighbours. These conflicts come to us from our police partners, Bylaws or may
be referred to us by the City/District. Occasionally, a neighbour calls us directly
and we advise them that in order to remain neutral, we need a third party to
initiate the referral.

Neighbour conflicts are sometimes quite complex with longstanding issues that
need resolving. Where our average file may take 3 months to complete, a
neighbour dispute may take up to 6 months. As long as both parties to the
dispute agree to voluntarily participate, our trained facilitators will work towards
de-escalating the conflict, bridging understanding and aim to restore peace.
We generally meet parties for one hour every week or two in person or by zoom.
We begin by meeting each party individually until we have understood the issues
from each perspective. All matters are held in complete confidence. Only with
permission, do we share information with the other side that may help to bring a
greater understanding.

In some cases, after a period of individual meetings and sharing information,
parties may wish to meet each other face-to-face. Our facilitators create a
respectful and safe space to aid the discussions and aim to come to an agreement
that may include a plan for future interaction. If parties do not wish to meet
directly, agreements can still be crafted through the facilitators who aim to
capture the needs of all sides. The final agreement is signed then shared with
each party to the dispute as well as with the referring third party.
If you have a neighbourhood concern that you feel might be appropriate for this
program, please contact the Restorative Response Program Manager Trish Elgersma (she/her) by emailing trish@nsrj.ca or calling 604-968-1593.