British Columbia

B.C.'s small claims disputes go online today

British Columbians can file their small claims disputes — up to $5,000 — through an online tribunal starting June 1, 2017.

Small claims disputes up to $5,000 will be resolved in B.C. through an online tribunal

The Civil Resolution Tribunal hopes small claims will be resolved faster through the online system. (CBC)

British Columbians will be able to resolve their small claims disputes on or under $5,000 through an online tribunal starting today.

According to the tribunal, the digital project is a first in Canada where small claims disputes will be filed, negotiated and resolved almost exclusively online.

Telephone and mail services will be available for anyone without Internet access.

Shannon Salter, the chair of the Civil Resolution Tribunal, says she hopes the online system will be faster than the current system and increase access to justice.

Salter says the online system will also have a "solution explorer" to begin the process which is free for anyone use.

"[There are] basic, plain language questions and answers to give you free legal information about your claim as well as things like template letters you can use to try and resolve it yourself," she said.

B.C. has allowed condo owners to resolve their strata disputes online since July 2016.

Listen to the interview with Shannon Salter on CBC's The Early Edition: