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Author Archives / Jordanna Cytrynbaum

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Just Around the Corner! B.C. Franchises Legislation in Force February 1, 2017

Posted in Franchising

As we reported here, British Columbia’s new Franchises Act, SBC 2015, c 35 (the “Act”) and accompanying Franchises Regulation (the “Regulation”) will come into force effective February 1, 2017. From this date, franchisors granting, renewing or extending franchises in B.C. will be subject to the new legislation. Franchisors should also be aware that some provisions of the Act, such as the right to associate, apply to franchise agreements entered into prior to February 1, 2017.

The most important change for franchisors operating in B.C. will be the comprehensive disclosure regime articulated in s. 5 … Continue Reading

Impending BC Franchise Legislation: Are You Ready?

Posted in Franchising

Effective February 1, 2017 BC will become the 6th Canadian province to enact franchise legislation.

On October 18, 2016, McCarthy Tétrault hosted a seminar that featured highlights of the new BC Franchises Act and Franchises Regulation and issues arising therefrom, including:

  • An overview of the framework of the BC Franchises Act and Franchises Regulation;
  • practice points for preparing compliant national franchise disclosure documents; and
  • other important legal developments to be mindful of, including restrictions on obtaining releases of claims under the act and jurisdictional issues

The presentation can be accessed here.

Feel free to direct any questions … Continue Reading

It’s Official! BC Releases Long Awaited BC Franchises Act Regulation!

Posted in Franchising, Legislation

Further to our previous posts, available here and here, the much anticipated BC Franchises Regulation (the “Regulation”) was released today, and it was proclaimed that the Franchises Act, SBC 2015, c 35 will come into force effective February 1, 2017. The Regulation and order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council can be accessed here. BC is now the sixth province to enact uniform franchise legislation.

The Regulations specify the information to be included in a disclosure document, including information related to: risk warnings, financial statements, and other prescribed information related to the franchisor and the franchise. By … Continue Reading

Alberta Extends Mature Franchisor Exemption to 2021

Posted in Consumer Protection, Franchising, Legislation, Retailing

The Alberta government has recently decided to extend its Mature Franchisor Exemption under the Franchises Act until its next review in 2021. Under the Franchises Act Exemption Regulation, large franchisors meeting certain financial thresholds and holding a high level of operational experience are exempt from including financial statements as part of their Franchise Disclosure Document to prospective franchisees. In extending this exemption, the Alberta government has kept its legislation consistent with other provincial franchise legislation. Going forward, this move should help Alberta to remain attractive to franchise system investors.… Continue Reading

Happy FranCanada Day – Electronic Delivery of FDD’s in Ontario on July 1st

Posted in Franchising, Legislation

Further to our update in April Ontario has approved the amended regulations to the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 to permit electronic delivery of franchise disclosure documents (“FDD’s”).  Regulation 581/00 comes into effect July 1, 2016.

Effective July 1, 2016, franchisors will now be able to deliver FDD’s electronically or by courier, in addition to the previously approved methods of in person or registered mail delivery. The complete changes may be viewed here.

With these amendments, Ontario franchise legislation has received a mini-modernization-makeover.

The new legislation provides that electronically delivered FDD’s must meet the following conditions:

  • be in
Continue Reading

Lessons from the Consumer Products and Retail Summit: Are Bricks and Mortar Stores Still Relevant?

Posted in Retailing

In follow up to McCarthy Tetrault’s 6th Annual Consumer Products and Retail Summit held on February 25, 2016, the Consumer & Retail Advisor Blog editor team is publishing a series of posts elaborating on the top takeaway tips from the Summit.

We begin with a post on lessons learned regarding the ongoing relevance of bricks and mortar stores, courtesy of our guest authors Mirella Pisciuneri and Katherine Forbes from Richter:

In 2015, the retail industry was plagued with bad news and disappointing earnings. Many retailers closed their doors in Canada, including MEXX, Jacob, Target and Future Shop; and others restructured: … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments to Franchise Legislation in Alberta and Ontario

Posted in Franchising

Ontario is proposing to amend Regulation 581/00 under the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure, 2000) to permit franchisors to electronically deliver disclosure documentation (“FDD”) to prospective franchisees as well as deliver FDD by courier. See the proposed amendments here.

The draft legislation provides that electronically delivered FDD’s must be in a form that enables the recipient to view, store, retrieve and print it, contains no links to external content and has an index for each separate electronic file that describes the subject matter therein. Electronic delivery of FDD’s will only be effective were the franchisor receives an electronic … Continue Reading

Takeaways – McCarthy Tétrault’s 6th Annual Consumer Products and Retail Summit

Posted in Branding, Competition, Distribution, Employment and HR, Events, Franchising, Real Estate, Retailing, Shopping Centres

McCarthy Tetrault’s 6th Annual Consumer Products and Retail Summit was held on February 25, 2016. Here are our key takeaways from the Summit, including practical tips from each of our topics:

Trends and Lessons Learned from Recent Retail Restructurings
Katherine Forbes and Mirella Pisciuneri, Richter Advisory Group

  • E-commerce is here to stay and is key to success, but only as part of a strategy combined with ‘bricks & mortar’ to create a customer experience
  • Vertical integration and comprehensive merchandise planning are critical for reducing costs and improving profit margins
  • Make the most of available consumer profile information, but be mindful
Continue Reading

McCarthy Tétrault’s 6th Annual Consumer Products and Retail Summit

Posted in Branding, Competition, Consumer Protection, Events, Product Liability, Real Estate, Retailing, Trade

McCarthy Tétrault’s multidisciplinary Consumer Products and Retail Group is hosting our sixth annual national McCarthy Tétrault Consumer Products & Retail Summit, which will provide practical tips to address timely issues facing retailers and consumer facing businesses today.

Richter Advisory Group Inc. will discuss key trends and lessons learned from recent restructurings in the retail sector.

This will be followed by our panels of experts who will discuss the following topics:

  • Real estate issues, including the impact of e-commerce on “bricks and mortar” and leasing strategies;
  • Recent developments in competition law, including compliance policies, the display of prices and current priorities
Continue Reading

BC Government Seeks Input on Franchises Act (Disclosure) Regulation

Posted in Consumer Protection, Corporate Matters, Franchising, Legislation, Retailing

As we recently wrote about here and here, BC will soon become the sixth Canadian province to enact uniform franchise legislation. On October 20, 2015, Bill 38 – Franchises Act passed Third Reading in the BC Legislature. The Provincial Government is now seeking input on the Franchise Act (Disclosure) Regulation (the “Regulation”). The legislation will come into force only after the Regulation is complete. The following is a summary of what to expect from the Regulation.

The proposed Regulation will specify what information must be included in a disclosure document and the methods of delivery.

Franchisors will benefit from … Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana Business Applicants Undergo Review

Posted in Distribution, Real Estate

The following post by Jordanna Cytrynbaum and Heather Doi on The Lay of the Land, a blog which provides information and insight into Canada’s real estate sector, may be of interest to our readers: Medical Marijuana Business Applicants Undergo Review.

The post discusses the most recent developments regarding the City of Vancouver’s regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries. In particular, it provides insight into issues arising out of the business licensing and development permit application process.… Continue Reading

Bill 38 – Franchises Act Passes Third Reading in BC

Posted in Consumer Protection, Corporate Matters, Franchising, Legislation, Retailing

On October 6, 2015 the B.C. Provincial Government introduced Bill 38 – Franchises Act in the Provincial Legislature. We posted here, discussing the Bill’s primary contributions to the law governing franchises in B.C.

Since then, Bill 38 has moved quickly through the Legislature. It was debated during second reading and received broad support from both Government and Opposition members. On Tuesday, October 20, 2015, it was reported complete without amendment, read a third time, and passed. It is now in the final stage, awaiting Royal Assent. In due course, we will post a blog comparing B.C.’s franchise regime to … Continue Reading

BC Tables Bill 38 – Franchises Act

Posted in Franchising, Legislation

In recent years, British Columbia has been laying the groundwork for the introduction of franchise legislation in this province. We have posted about these initiatives on various occasions, including here and here. On October 5, 2015, these efforts culminated in the Provincial Government’s introduction (first reading) of Bill 38Franchises Act.

Bill 38 is modeled after the similar legislation already in force in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. It will govern franchise agreements for franchises operated either wholly or partly in British Columbia. Its overarching purpose is to balance protections for potentially vulnerable … Continue Reading

Vancouver Enacts Bylaws to Regulate Medical Marijuana-Related Retail Businesses

Posted in Legislation, Retailing

Medical marijuana is becoming big business. Recently, it was announced that two titans in the medical growing sphere have agreed to merge in a $58-million deal expected to close in August. The headlines in Vancouver relate to the recent boom in medical marijuana-related storefront “dispensaries.” Over the last two years, the number of these retail businesses in the City has grown by 100 percent each year. As of April 2015, the City reported that there were over 80 such businesses operating in Vancouver without a business licence.

On June 24, 2015, Vancouver became the first city in Canada to regulate … Continue Reading

Franchise Legislation Introduced in British Columbia

Posted in Franchising, Legislation

British Columbia does not currently have any special franchise legislation. In late 2014, the Government of B.C. sought submissions from interested stakeholders on the question of whether B.C. should implement franchise disclosure legislation similar in structure to the legislation in force in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (previously discussed here). This development came on the heels of work completed by the British Columbia Law Institute (the “BCLI”), which recommended that B.C. should enact franchise legislation harmonized with other Canadian jurisdictions. For summaries of the BCLI’s Consultation Paper on a Franchise Act for British Columbia (2013) … Continue Reading

A Healthy Debate, Revisited: Amendments to Ontario’s Proposed Menu Labelling Legislation from the Perspective of Franchisors

Posted in Franchising, Legislation, Retailing

Earlier this year, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario resumed its debate of Bill 45, an act aimed at enhancing public health by enacting, among other statutes, the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2015 (the “Act”). If passed, the Act will require every person who owns or operates a regulated food service premise to display the caloric information of their standard food items. Corporations contravening the Act will be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 for every day on which the offence occurs or continues and, for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than … Continue Reading

Ontario Court Endorses Single Forum for National Dealer Network Dispute

Posted in Franchising, Legislation

A recent Ontario decision, Stuart Budd & Sons Limited v. IFS Vehicle Distributors ULC, 2015 ONSC 0519 (“Stuart Budd”), provides an example of the courts of one province agreeing to hear a dispute involving franchisees from across Canada, over the objections of the franchisor.

In Stuart Budd, the underlying action was brought by eight new and used car dealers (the “Dealers”) against defendants from Ontario and the United States. Three of the Dealers are based in Ontario (the “Ontario Dealers”), and the other five have their businesses in Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia and British Columbia (the “Non-Ontario Dealers”). … Continue Reading

A Healthy Debate: The Second Reading of Ontario’s Menu Labelling Legislation

Posted in Franchising, Legislation

On February 17, 2015, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario resumed its debate of Bill 45, the Healthy Menu Choices Act, 2014 (the “Act”). The Act was introduced on November 24, 2014, as part of the province’s strategy to reduce childhood obesity and overall healthcare costs.

If passed, the Act will require “[e]very person who owns or operates a regulated food service premise”, which includes food service providers that belong to a chain of 20 or more locations in Ontario, to display the caloric information of their “standard food items”. The Act will apply to restaurants, grocery stores, and other establishments … Continue Reading

Balancing The Risk Of Vicarious Liability With The Need To Control and Protect Your Brand

Posted in Franchising

The following article may be of interest to readers of this blog:

Balancing The Risk Of Vicarious Liability With The Need To Control and Protect Your Brand

One of the defining features of the franchise business model is the formal, legal separation between the franchisor and its franchisees, but this formal separation will not always guarantee that the franchisor is protected from legal liability for the acts and omissions of its franchisees. Two recent developments in the U.S. have brought this topic of franchisor liability (or vicarious liability) into the headlines, and serve as an important reminder to franchisors regarding … Continue Reading

Update on BC Franchise Legislation – BC Government Asks for Submissions from Stakeholders

Posted in Franchising, Legislation

Earlier this year, the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) published a Report on a Franchise Act for British Columbia (the “BCLI Report”) and recommended the implementation of franchise disclosure legislation in B.C., similar in structure to the legislation in force in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick and PEI.

Last week, the Government of B.C. indicated its intention to move forward to adopt the BCLI’s recommendations and announced that it is now formally seeking submissions from any interested stakeholders.  According to the B.C. Government, “all stakeholders and members of the public are invited to provide comments … Following the consultation, ministry … Continue Reading

B.C. Even Closer to Enacting Franchise Legislation

Posted in Franchising

British Columbia has no special franchise legislation – franchise relationships are governed by the terms of franchise agreements and the common law of contracts. However, a new report reveals that interested parties are largely in favour of changing this regime through the introduction of franchise legislation. This consensus became clear after a year of consultations and studies by the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI), which has now recommended the introduction of franchise legislation to the B.C. Legislature.… Continue Reading

Amendments Regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Posted in Acquisitions, Employment and HR, Franchising, Transactions

On December 31, 2013, a new set of amendments to applicable legislation came into force regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The changes include requirements that employers:

  • complete a new form of labour market opinion (LMO) application;
  • keep copies of any documents pertaining to compliance with conditions prescribed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) for six years;
  • demonstrate information they provided in an LMO application was accurate; and
  • make “reasonable efforts” to ensure that the workplace is free of abuse.

The changes, which are generally aimed at protecting vulnerable employees, are also of significance to businesses considering mergers … Continue Reading

Last Call for Comments to the BCLI

Posted in Employment and HR

September 30, 2013 marks the deadline for comments on the British Columbia Legal Institute’s “Consultation Paper on a Franchise Act for British Columbia” (the “Consultation Paper”).  The Consultation Paper was published earlier this year, and recommends the implementation of franchise legislation in B.C.  This legislation, which will encompass provisions on disclosure, the duty of fair dealing, rights to rescission, and damages for misrepresentation, will impose significant statutory obligations on franchisors.  For a summary of the BCLI’s tentative recommendations to the B.C. Legislature, click here (insert hyperlink to first blog post).

Interested parties have an opportunity to contribute to this … Continue Reading

What a B.C. “Franchise Act” may Mean for Franchisors

Posted in Franchising

  The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) recently released its “Consultation Paper on a Franchise Act for British Columbia” (the “Consultation Paper”), bringing the province a step closer to following in the footsteps of other provinces and enacting franchise legislation.  If the B.C. Legislature adopts the BCLI’s recommendations, B.C. will be the sixth province in Canada to implement a legislative regime governing franchising.

Is this good news or bad?

On the one hand, according to the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, a B.C. Franchise Act would be a low-cost or no-cost measure that would provide certainty to businesses, balance … Continue Reading