Canada: Franchise and Distribution @ Gowlings - October 7, 2010

Last Updated: October 18 2010

Edited by Debi Sutin and Peter Snell


  • Radical Changes Proposed to Ontario's Franchise Law
  • Impact on Franchisors of Amendments to Alberta's Privacy Legislation and Proposed Amendments to the Federal Privacy Legislation
  • Who, What, Where and When

Radical Changes Proposed to Ontario's Franchise Law
By Debi M. Sutin

As you may have read last month in our Franchise Law Alert, radical changes have been proposed to Ontario's franchise disclosure law, the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 (the "Act"). Since then, Bill 102 passed Second Reading and has now been referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs where it will not doubt be the subject of much debate. It is also expected that the Standing Committee will hold public consultations, during which the franchise community in Ontario will have an opportunity to voice concerns about the Bill. Click here for a copy of Bill 102

At the heart of Bill 102 is the requirement that a franchisor provide a prospective franchisee with an "educational document" setting out extensive criteria to be considered in respect of a prospective franchisee's decision to enter into a franchise agreement and to obtain from the prospective franchisee, prior to entering into the franchise agreement, a signed, written acknowledgement that the franchisee has reviewed the educational document.

Click here for the full article.

Impact on Franchisors of Amendments to Alberta's Privacy Legislation and Proposed Amendments to the Federal Privacy Legislation
By Melanie Choch

Alberta's Bill 54, which came into force on May 1, 2010, fine tunes the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA"), which regulates how private sector organizations collect, use, disclose, protect and provide access to personal information. As a result of the amendments to PIPA prescribed by Bill 54, organizations operating in the Alberta private sector will now have to comply with more stringent privacy requirements. In this article we will briefly discuss the nature of the amendments made to PIPA and how such changes impact the franchise industry.

The provisions of Bill 54 expand the definition of "personal employee information" to include information about a former employee as well as information used for managing a post-employment relationship, providing for more consistent standards of handling personal information of employees. The compliance obligations under PIPA regarding information which is collected, used and disclosed by both franchisors and franchisees is thus broadened to include such information about prior employees (which includes, directors, officers, volunteers and contractors or agents providing services) and post-employment related information.

Click here for the full article.

Who, What, Where and When

  • Gowlings welcomes 2 franchise lawyers to its Moscow office: Julianna Tabastajewa and Yulia Yarnykh. Julianna Tabastajewa's practice involves representing major Russian and international clients in intellectual property protection and litigation, franchise law and competition law matters. Yulia Yarnykh's practice focuses focus on intellectual property, franchise law matters and corporate matters.
  • Congratulations to Ned Levitt, Len Polsky, Jeff Hoffman, Debi Sutin and Peter Snell being named to the Best Lawyers in Canada in the practice area of Franchise Law and to our Franchise practice group being top-listed in Canada.
  • Congratulations also to Ned Levitt, Len Polsky, Debi Sutin and Peter Snell for being named to the International Who's Who Legal Canada for franchising.
  • Len Polsky, Ned Levitt, Debi Sutin, Jeff Hoffman, Peter Snell and Chad Finkelstein will be attending the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising October 13-15, 2010 in San Diego, California.
  • Ned Levitt will be speaking at the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising in San Diego on the topic "The Impossible Dream: Controlling Your International Franchise System".
  • Peter Snell's article on understanding your disclosure document is scheduled for publication in the November/December 2010 edition of Franchise Entrepreneur.
  • Debi Sutin will co-chair of the Ontario Bar Association's 10th Annual Franchise Law Conference, being held in Toronto on November 4, 2010, and Jeff Hoffman will be speaking at the conference on "Enforcing and Defending a Claim for Recission".
  • Len Polsky spoke at the International Bar Association Annual Conference in Vancouver on October 5, 2010, at the International Sales, Franchising and Product Law Section, on Use of Social Media in Franchise Systems.
  • Jeff Hoffman and Ned Levitt will lead a Franchise RoundTable on October 28, 2010 in Toronto.
  • Melanie Choch, Len Polsky, and Peter Snell will lead a Franchise Roundtable on November 4, 2010 in Calgary.
  • Len Polsky and Peter Snell will lead a Franchise Roundtable November 9, 2010 in Vancouver.
  • Joelle Boisvert, Guy Poitras, Melanie Choch, Len Polsky, Ned Levitt, Peter Snell, Debi Sutin and Jeff Hoffman will be attending the International Franchise Association Annual Convention in Las Vegas on February 13-16, 2011.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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