In October 2012, the British Columbia Law
Institute (BCLI) began a project to bring forth recommendations for
a Franchise Act for British Columbia. So far, five of the 10
provinces in Canada have franchise legislation. Provinces that have
enacted franchise legislation are: Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick,
Prince Edward Island, and most recently, Manitoba. This leaves
British Columbia as the most populated province in Canada that has
yet to put franchise legislation in place.
The BCLI released Consultation Paper on a
BC Franchise Act setting out tentative recommendations back in
March 2013. It encouraged members of the franchise community to
review the paper and to provide comments by September 30, 2013
after which time it will prepare a final report and recommendation
for submission to the B.C. legislature.
According to the Canadian Bar
Association's "An Agenda for Justice" issued on
February 5, 2013, a Franchise Act for British Columbia would fairly
balance the interests of both franchisors and franchisees and would
provide protection to small business franchises. According to the
report, the quick implementation of a Franchise Act for British
Columbia would be a low-cost or no-cost legislative reform that
could provide certainty for businesses.
In addition, Jim Emmerton, Executive Director
of BCLI, recently had this to say: "Given the prevalence of
franchised businesses in BC and their importance to the provincial
economy, it is surprising that BC has no franchising
legislation." "The introduction of BC franchise
legislation would further increase the degree of harmonization of
regulatory standards within Canada, while also giving appropriate
and needed protection to BC franchise owners."
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