Ontario franchise law is +90% irrelevant

OntarioExisting laws are a result of a competition.

A competition of interests, normally between opposing groups.

Any statute exists because:

  1. some interest(s) wanted them,
  2. that group had the clout to push the political system to put it into place while
  3. defeating opposing views.

Franchisees face the combined strength of what I have defined as Big Franchising. The pathetic state of Canadian franchise law is the predictable result. Ontario, PEI, Alberta and (sort of) New Brunswick have specific franchise laws.

In Ontario, the relevant law is the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000.

I helped push for the first Ontario, starting in 1998. I was even an expert witness at the public hearings. The Wishart Act was sold to me as a “compromise” or as a “first step”. Those were lies and I believed them: then.

The Ontario government has refused to listen to repeated calls for improving the laws, from franchisees.

Privately, many MPPs know the score but Big Franchising blocks for their friends to the Premier.

The industry had a problem in the lat 90s: they couldn’t sell as many outlets because of very high profile nightmare cases such as Pizza Pizza or 3 for 1 Pizza and Wings.  They needed a fake law (McLaw: make-believe fairness) and they got it. The Ministry of Consumer’s reaction to  Country Style’s alleged dirty CCAA and the Grand & Toy mass terminations confirmed that.

99% of all abuse is never seen by Ontario judge (let alone a jury of citizens)

The high cost of litigation and the franchise bar’s “filtering process” sees to that.

The law needs to change to become relevant or be abolished.


One Response to Ontario franchise law is +90% irrelevant

  1. Carol Cross says:

    Agree! I believe the franchise contracts in the US generally require arbitration and the courts in the US are happy not to have to weigh in on the abuse that they KNOW is taking place in pre-sale and after-sale relationships because of captured regulators and legislators.

    From the outside looking in, it looks like law, procedure, and process has all been arranged to take care of the BIG interests in and around franchising throughout the free world and in the NEW global economy where the securitization of IP etc.. somewhat in recent years has become a big deal in the financial sector.

    This is the only reason that I think the “class actions” and the “mass actions” serve a purpose. That is, the courts are forced to look at the abuse and not just ignore it, and maybe there will be pressure from the judiciary who will realize that the courts become “tainted” when the regulators and the legislators are tainted and captured by the special interests.


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