Vigorous provincial government relations are invaluable in influencing Tim Hortons Brazilian-based vulture capitalists.

June 8, 2017

Franchisees need to speak out to their local MPPs (member of provincial parliament).

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Queen’s Park, Toronto, Canada

The independent franchisee association should make a legislative “wishlist” a priority.

Nothing, nothing makes a franchisor and his allies (Canadian Franchise Association, CFA et al) stand up and take notice.

Anyone who says talking to politicians is a waste of time, is working full-time for 3G, the CFA, its 1,199 other franchisors and their supporters: banks, legal service providers.

Start by suggesting the Ontario government reverse the onus on good faith in the Arthur Wishart Act.

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Est. 1998

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Mike Colle, MPP Eglinton Lawrence, Susan Kezios, President, American Franchisee Assocation, AFA and Les Stewart, Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators, CAFO, Wishart Act hearings, 2000.

Les’s expert witness testimony.

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John Sotos, Sotos LLP and Susan Kezios, AFA, Wishart Act hearings, 2000

John’s expert witness testimony. Susan’s expert witness testimony.

Tony Martin MPP Sault Ste. Marie and Dr. Gillian K. Hadfield, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 2000.

Dr. Hadfield’s expert witness testimony.

Three MPPs get together to try to make franchise fraud a criminal offence, Second Reading, 2010.

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Les Stewart, ON Premier Kathleen Wynne and Don Morgan, 2015.

Q: Why should any public official help your family when (it appears) you don’t give two hoots about the other +70,000 franchisee families?


3G Capital poises for accelerated growth in U.S. Tim Hortons by closing stores?

November 23, 2015

Number of closed stores and terminated Canadian franchisees is both unknown and unknowable because of lapdog disclosure rules.

20151123 Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons confirmed that stores across Maine and New York closed on Friday. RENE JOHNSTON / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

An interesting article in Canada’s largest daily newspaper, Tim Hortons closes locations in New York, Maine, (subheadline:
Coffee chain refuses to say if it has closed any Canadian outlets. It has reportedly closed more than 20 stores in the U.S.):

Tim Hortons has closed down many locations across New York and Maine, only a few weeks after reporting a profit of $49.6 million (U.S.).

The coffee chain would not confirm if any Canadian outlets had been closed or how many U.S. stores shut.

And also in a press release:

“As we build the foundation for accelerated growth in the U.S., we have decided to close some restaurants in New York and Maine.

Comment on article by reader “Relax”: Apparently, Tim Hortons has figured it out. The best way to “accelerate growth” in the US is to start by closing stores.

Canadian Franchise Industry Much More Secretive: Franchisors in the United States are required to report the number of stores and franchisees closed, terminated, etc. each year. There is even public access to their Franchise Disclosure Documents (see California’s search template: Tim Hortons USA Inc). In Canada, provincial ministries do not require franchisors to publish this data. So sad for investors or journalists or the captured franchisees’ billions of investment $.

Additional coverage:

Franchisors have traditionally sent signals to their franchisees on how they would be treated if they’re not seen to be “on the team”. Normally, the most vocal are out first.

Word from Canada is that the franchisees has it that their stores have never been more profitable.

The real prize is on the (surviving but fewer) CDN franchisees’ income statements.

 


Which is the most powerful and misunderstood provision of the most-feared franchise law in the world?

January 13, 2015

Section 4, Right to Associate, Ontario, Canada’s Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure) 2000.

Charter of Rights

As sure as water flows downhill, this will lead to franchisee-led, not lawyer-thwarted:

  1. trademark-specific WordPress weblog (then a Wikidot.com wiki),
  2. small groups of franchisees commissioning research (sharing cost information),
  3. non-lawyer franchise expert coach consulting,
  4. an independent franchisee association (no franchise bar involvement),
  5. shared services, supply co-operative(s),
  6. non-franchise bar case preparation, and
  7. equity and gross margin protection.

The Right to Associate provision (the de facto CDN standard and what all franchisees in the world aspire to for justice) is one last conceptual obstacle preventing franchisees from taking their appropriate seat at the adult’s table.

Proof?: after 14-15 years, the CDN franchise bar has filtered each attempt to plead Right to Associate (trial and appeal), thereby, defeating the ON justices from activating its potential.

The ON Superior Court of Justice will make the link to Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

ON Surperior Court of Justice

 


Ontario franchisees: 9 months to our most important provincial election ever

January 7, 2011

Best chance ever to protect franchise families.

If you won’t act to support pro-franchisee MPP candidates in 2011,  Why the hell should they give you what you want in the face of the demands to the contrary by Big Auto, Grocery and Oil, their fat cat lawyers and the Canadian Franchise Association?

You, your spouse and your family want:

To Do:

  1. Call your current MPPs constituency office (see here, postal code lookup) and ask for a 10 minute interview. Insist, take your spouse and follow-up in writing.
  2. Offer to and then donate as a sign of goodwill to (a) your home riding and (b) the Bill 102’s co-sponsors: Jaczek, DiNovo & Miller (time preferably but $ only if lazy).
  3. Handwrite a note to each party leader’s riding office: McGuinty, Hudak & Horwath.

Stand up because the backroom weasels have been all over Queen’s Park saying that your family doesn’t deserve what little protection that the Wishart Act gives you now.

Need a vehicle, a Tims or a Big Mac this year?

  • Ask your local franchisee if he’s going to continue to sit on his hands this time out or will he stand up on his 2 legs with you?

People sacrificed for these democratic rights.

For selfish reasons alone, use them or lose them.


After 10 years, the Ontario Wishart Act is getting a little tweaking

November 14, 2010

Bill 102 is important.

But what’s revolutionary is the way the Ontario courts are back-filling the Wishart Act with real umph.

This judge-made or case law is designed to modify franchisor behavior.

A $50,000 appeal award upheld for mental distress in a low-rent coffee joint?

I understand this is the 1st time a breach of good faith and fair dealing provision has triggered $ on its own. And it was accomplished by a non-“franchise bar” attorney in Ottawa, too.

I wonder…

Queen’s Park, Toronto Ontario Canada: Home of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario


To Canadian franchisees: Thank you for your patience

November 5, 2010

A joint communique will be delivered shortly.

40,000 ON and 76,000 CDN families

— No renewing franchisees were harmed in this post (ie. redacted conference badge).


Free riding on the authority of the state

October 12, 2010

The notion that people need to believe in and trust in their institutions is not a naive, child-like or stupid idea. It’s an evolutionary imperative because humans are social beings.

Our survival depends on a reasonable expectation of the basic trustworthiness of the officers and offices in our instituations.

A modern complex post-industrial knowledge economy requires a high-trust environment. Fairness of opportunity is the business governments are in: not passing laws that enable the the creation and cover-up of consumer swindles.

A country, a provincial parliament or a police force are not a brand.

Franchising as a bully arena is most readily seen when they start to push around people we elect to represent us.

See this coat of arms?

Canada stood for something at one time. People sacrificed a lot (continue to die for, in fact) a principle, not to enable federally regulated financial institutions to drive the lending getaway car.

See this one?

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario: hear the other side. It’s designed to remind us of something. We as citizens are diminished when its taken 40 years to prove that powerful commercial interests can deny the need for, then flip-flop in 2000 when they need a sales boost and then flop-flip(?) saying that any more pre-sale disclosure would “give a false sense of security” for investigating future franchisees.

Oh, please.

And this one…

When fraud coppers have to continue to turn away franchise victims (wives of some of their own “brothers”, even), it reduces the trust we have in the value of all police enforcement activities.

When the legitimate authority of the state is debased, we are all diminished.


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