May 17, 2010
Once upon a time…
I’m free, 100% clean, I made it to the other side.
I behaved mostly okay, was given the gift of poverty without leaving home, and tried acted as if my life depended on it.
In business meetings, the old is always attended to before the new can be introduced (Tupperware, Country Style, Mr. Sub, Water Depot, WIP). The door’s open but the ride it ain’t free.
Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
It matters enormously if I alienate anyone from the truth.
All that we call human history–money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery–[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
Χάρων, C.S. Lewis 1898-1963, Fisher King 1, 2 1991
May 17, 2008
Justice is one of the four Cardinal Virtues.
My research clearly concludes that the last place for franchisee family investors to find justice is via any franchise bar/legal system.
Background and unique qualifications:
- Franchise Industry in Ontario (Canada): franchisee families 40,000 (76,000), employees 400,000 to 600,000 (760,000 to 1,140,000), investments $2 to 8 billion ($3.8 to 15.2 billion), and annual sales $45 to 50 billion ($90 billion), Source
- born on RCAF Station Senneterre, QC, 1959, 1201 Bayfield Street North since 1960
- school: Cedarview and Forest Hill in Midhurst, St. Mary’s, St. Joseph’s and North Collegiate in Barrie (Grade 13: 1978),
- twice a franchisee (Arjay Painting and Nutri-Lawn, Midhurst, ON),
- a franchisee’s crew Barrie and 1st assistant manager, Orillia 3254, McDonald’s Canada (B.O.C., Silver Hat, & AAA, 1972-80),
- general BA, 1983, Western University and MBA, 1987, Ivey Business School, London, ON,
- Medical audit coordinator, St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital, St. Thomas, ON (1987, provincial psychiatric hospital),
- Budget analyst, Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario, (acute care regional teaching hospital, 3,500 FTEs, 1988-92),
- founded the Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators, CAFO, Canada’s 1st national franchisee association, Midhurst, ON 1998-present,
- SLAPP 1.0 (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation): sued to silence: Nutri-Lawn‘s then owner, The Franchise Company (FirstService Corporation), represented by David Sterns and John Sotos,
- SLAPP 2.0 sued for faxing 150 U.S. Tupperware distributors a website invitation and Toronto Star article while representing 7 former CDN Tupperware distributors, (Tupperware Canada Inc.), TupperWars, SLAPP, represented by Brian Macleod Rogers,
- took my franchised lawn care business independent in 1998 (Lawn Depot),
- represented myself at an injunction hearing, franchisor unsuccessfully sought to enforce their non-compete clause, Barrie, ON, 1999 (Justice Paul Herminston, Barrie), favourable outcome,
- 5 day civil trial, (Justice Katherine Swinton, Toronto, May 1999) and lost $134,000 unfavourable outcome,
- unpaid policy analyst for Mr. Tony Martin, NDP MPP, Sault Ste. Marie, ON 1998 to 2001 (provincial, federal politician),
- expert witness at public hearing which lead to Ontario’s first franchise law, Toronto, ON (Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000),
- created the Information Sharing Project and submitted unsuccessful project proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Affairs in 2003 (digital teaching, due diligence and business risk assessment tool; embryonic form of WikiFranchise.org),
- identified and wrote a paper on Predatory Franchise Lending to Industry Canada, 2005 (18 month investigation: bank, consultant, franchisor, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Minister of Finance, RCMP Commercial Crime Unit, OBSI, FCAC, PMO, etc.),
- case preparation for a +$6-million civil law suit based on predatory lending principles (2005, Oudovikine),
- Stewart has been featured in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, CBC, PORFIT magazine, Continental Franchise Review, and Wall Street Journal, media contributor, 1997 – present,
- contributed to the Prince Edward Island, Ontario, West and South Australian franchise inquires,
- Blue MauMau contributor: 459 posts (since Oct 2007),
- founded and editor of FranchiseFool.com weblog: 1200 posts, 277,713 views & 777 comments (since Feb 2008, Accessed April 26, 2018),
- founded and co-editor of WikiFranchise.org: a no-charge wiki that assigns corporate and personal reputations more accurately and durably via indexed already-published articles and documents: 208,821 unique visitors, 331,676 visitors, 1,283,386 pages, 2,229,354 hits and 65.8 GB bandwith (since Feb 2009, same),
- endorsed Bill 102, An Act to amend the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), September 23, 2010, Legislative Assembly of Ontario (start @ 1440),
- attended the International Association of Franchisees and Dealers annual conference, Indianapolis, 2010,
- pre-trial development of large-scale group and class action legal actions,
- independent franchisee association: leadership development, creation, training, pre-trial case legal case development (National Bread Network: Maple Leaf Foods/Canada Bread 1,000 CDN Dempster’s franchisees, leader’s blog, case preparation for a +$300-million class action law suit based on good faith, right to associate and mental distress ($50,000 award for one franchisee, 2008-2012),
- FranchiseGrade.com: The Authority on Franchising, developed data collection methods and hierachy structure and custom reports based on U. S. Franchise Disclosure Documents, FDDs, Les Paul Stewart Consulting: work has been featured in Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc., and the Wall Street Journal. 2004 – 2005,
- founded Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition (About, Media coverage): community group successful in helping rescue a 477 acre (192 ha.) provincial park, significant head waters to RAMSAR wetland and world’s longest freshwater beach,
- Dr. Gillian K. Hadfield: Problematic Relations: Franchising and the Law of Incomplete Contracts, The Price of Law: How the Market for Lawyers Distorts the Justice System,
- founded and editor of SpringwaterParkcc.org: 523 posts, 82,463 views & 139 comments (since Oct 2012, Accessed April 26, 2018), and