The Lawyers Weekly reports that Ontario’s chief justice calls for judges to expand their role as mediators. Chief Justice Warren Winkler (who, while in practice, was, hands down, one of the top management side labour lawyers in the country) has proposed a "cultural-shift" that would see judges conduct more mediations in civil lawsuits (called in the article "judicial mediations".
As is acknowledged in the article, there are many hurdles that will have to be navigated before judicial mediation is launched (if at all). I too think it is worth exploring.
According to the article, Chief Justice Winkler's remarks will be published this fall in The Advocates’ Journal and I very much look forward to reading them.
Chief Justice Winkler has previously discussed mediation and touched on judicial mediation in Access to Justice, Mediation: Panacea or Pariah? (Published in 2007 Canadian Arbitration and Mediation Journal 16 (1):5-9).