Tony Martin and the Ontario Wishart Act

August 14, 2010

Tony Martin isn’t much to look at.

He’s is the kind of person you pass in the street without noticing: a real no body.

Except for the franchise industry.

He is, in my opinion,  the most feared man in franchising.

Here he is listening to Susan Kezios in Toronto, Canada at the public hearings on March 6, 2000. Ms. Kezios was an expert witness brought in from the American Franchisee Association in Chicago, USA. Her testimony is here.

Martin got the Ontario government to pay to bring Susan in.

And here is Martin with Gillian Hadfield (expert witness testimony). Again, he got the government to bring her in from USC. How he got Bob Runciman to schedule 4 days of public hearings in the first place…well, that’s a great story!

Kezios, Hadfield, Martin: all three are the most successful and the 3 most feared people in franchising.

The winner is one who knows when to drop out in order to get in touch.

An administrator in a bureaucratic world is a man who can feel big by merging his non-entity in an abstraction. A real person in touch with real things inspires terror in him.

Marshall McLuhan 1911 – 1980


NFC to AUS MPs: Contempt from the McContemptible?

September 17, 2008

The Franchise Council of Australia, FCA and it’s Chairman John O’Brien (CEO of PoolWerx Corporation, BTW), is right: Dead right.

  • The NFC seems to be acting AS IF it were the nation’s pique franchising body.

When I observe the recent interplay between AUS federal politicians and the NFC (see Franchise Council hits back at critics), I get a little teary-eyed.

It just seems like old times.

I am reminded of how the Canadian Franchise Association, CFA, dealt with a provincial politician called Tony Martin, who has since moved onto federal politics.

They treated Mr. Martin with contempt.

Tony and I worked together from 1998 top 2001, trying to get the 1st franchise law for investors in the province of Ontario in Canada. We failed to get a decent one and everything has been frozen since. (see Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000, especially S3 and it’s pathetic, and still undefined and unargued, good faith provisions).

What we did succeed at (and in spades I might add) is leave a very interesting paper trail. The Information Sharing Project has collected all of these tasty little documents. Think of it as a www, digital record of very some very stupid comments.

As a example, please note Tony’s April 2000 press release below calling the Government of Ontario to investigate or “probe” the CFA.

Investigate Franchise Association Abuses: Martin
Tony Martin, MPP

April 4, 2000

TORONTO – The Consumer and Commercial Relations Ministry should investigate the Canadian Franchise Association over its failure to help Ontario franchise holders, NDP MPP Tony Martin said today.

The CFA is advising the Conservative government on proposed changes to provincial laws governing franchise agreements. But the association is under fire from hundreds of its own members for its indifference to their complaints, the NDP Critic for Consumer and Commercial Relations said in the Legislature today.

“The CFA has been of no help to many hundreds of entrepreneurs who lost their shirts in shoddy franchise deals,” Martin said. “Instead of taking the CFA’s advice this government should be sending in ministry staff to thoroughly investigate this association’s failures.”

Martin raised the case of Brenda Hope, a mother of two from Coldwater who lost $90,000 as a Chemwise Inc., franchisee. For more than a year, the CFA has refused to look into Hope’s complaints, although it endorsed Chemwise as a member.

Similarly, the CFA has refused to accept a registered letter from Bulk Barn franchisees who have a series of complaints against the franchisor. Martin was also refused when he tried to deliver the letter. The Sault Ste. Marie MPP called on Consumer and Commercial Affairs minister Bob Runciman to act now to protect small businesspeople.

“Perhaps the minister can convince the CFA to live up to its responsibilities to mediate franchise disputes. If he can’t, we need a full-scale probe of this group. It’s the least we can do for hard-working families who lose everything in dubious franchise deals,” Martin said.

The MPP has proposed his own legislation, Bill 35, that is far tougher than the government’s Bill 33. The Martin Franchise Bill would require full-disclosure of franchise contracts, a dispute resolution mechanism, the right to associate and the freedom to source products outside of the chain when not trademark related.

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Information: Gil Hardy at (416) 325-7118 or Robin Cantin at (416) 325-7324
http://www.ontariondp.on.ca


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