House Debate, Question Period, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada

The franchising industry has been stressed for a number of years now by unscrupulous big franchisers taking advantage of unsuspecting, anxious small entrepreneurs, among many others, immigrants enticed to this country with promises of gold in the streets.

LegislativeAssemblyofOntarioCoatofArms.jpg

Legislative Assembly of Ontario
December 1, 1998

House Debates, Question Period
Oral Question
Tony Martin, MPP

The Committee of the Whole
1st session, 37th Parliament
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

FRANCHISE BUSINESS

MR TONY MARTIN (Sault Ste Marie): Since the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations isn't here, my question is for the Chair of Management Board and acting Premier.

This is not a good time to be a small business in Ontario. There is a large sector of small business experiencing tremendous difficulties at the moment. The franchising industry has been stressed for a number of years now by unscrupulous big franchisers taking advantage of unsuspecting, anxious small entrepreneurs, among many others, immigrants enticed to this country with promises of gold in the streets.

Your colleague the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has been promising for about three years now to table legislation in this House that will regulate that industry. Will you, during this week dedicated to the interests of small business, finally table that legislation?

HON CHRIS HODGSON (Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, Minister of Northern Development and Mines): My colleague the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has informed me that he is reviewing the proposals that were outlined and released in a consultation paper back on June 15 of this year. He recognizes this is an issue that needs to be looked at and needs to be fixed. I've heard him talk on this a number of times and I'll definitely make him aware of your concerns here today.

MR MARTIN: He's been doing that for three years now. When we were government we got a study done by all the partners in the industry, a working paper was developed, legislation was recommended and you've been looking at it for three years. You obviously don't understand how critical this bill is to a very important small business sector in this province.

I have brought before this House over the last three years example after example of families and individuals totally devastated by unscrupulous franchisers. I had Loeb franchisees in here; I had Mary Carlucci and National Grocers in here; I had Les Stewart from Nutrilawn in here; and today I have in the gallery Mr Peter Thomas, who has now lost $170,000 at the hands of Mail Boxes Etc.

How long does this need to go on? How many more families and small businesses and entrepreneurs in this province need to be hammered before your government will table legislation to regulate this industry?

HON MR HODGSON: I know the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations appreciates your assistance on this and he too is deeply concerned about this, as everyone in this House is. I know he will be acting as quickly as he possibly can and he appreciates your support in doing that. He's reviewing these proposals, the modifications brought forth from people who have been involved in this process, and I know he'll be acting as quickly as he can.

This document is a verbatim copy of Hansard, the official record of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. To review the original transcript:
http://hansardindex.ontla.on.ca/hansardeissue/36-2/l048a.htm

Copyright (c) 1998
Office of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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Risks: Tony Martin, Ministry of Consumer and Commerical Services, Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Ministry of Government Services, Ontario, Hates publicity, Violence, Franchise Sector Working Team, Can’t talk to media, Immigrants as prey, Canada, 19981201 Oral Question

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