CFA Letter to Martin

In my opinion, your actions were misleading to the public, unfair to our members, and damaging to our association’s reputation.

June 30, 2000

Letter to Tony Martin, MPP
From Canadian Franchise Association
Richard Cunningham

June 30, 2000

Mr. Tony Martin
MPP Sault Ste. Marie
Room 207 North Wing
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON
M7A 1A5

Dear Mr. Martin,

On behalf of the 360 members of the Canadian Franchise Association, I would like to register my surprise and disappointment regarding the news release you issued on April 4, and your subsequent question to the Minister during Question Period. Considering the amicable relations we had enjoyed with the Ontario NDP, I am at a loss to understand this personal and unfair attack against our association.

It is completely false that we are in any way being criticized by hundreds of our members.

The CFA is a trade association whose mandate is to educate franchisors and current and potential franchisees on the best practices in franchising. The CFA endorses mediation and, if asked, will refer disputing parties to a national mediation agency. Your assertion that the CFA itself is a mechanism for franchise dispute resolution is false. As such, alleging that the CFA has failed to do what we in no way have the authority to do is a misrepresentation of our association and our members.

Having said that, we have in many cases attempted to assist in finding solutions for two conflicting parties as a matter of professional courtesy. However, once a case involves litigation we cannot involve ourselves in any way, including commenting on the alleged actions of either party. To accept the letter referred to in your release would have embroiled the CFA in a lawsuit to which we are not a party, and in a manner that would not have benefited any of those involved.

Mr. Martin, I met with you in order to introduce our association, lay out our position concerning the upcoming franchise legislation, and open the door for two-way communication between our members and your party. I appreciated your openness, your frankness, and your honesty concerning your party’s position. Although we may not have agreed on all the elements of the proposed legislation, I respected your point of view and have always viewed you as a fair person.

It is because of these views that I found your method of communication and your false statements to be unfair. As you know, I am always available to answer questions. I would have been happy to have a discussion with you about your concerns had you simply asked. Instead, you chose political expediency and political opportunity as a means of accusing the CFA of actions for which we are simply not responsible.

In my opinion, your actions were misleading to the public, unfair to our members, and damaging to our association’s reputation. It is disheartening that a party whose Premier consulted with us on many difficult issues in the past is now cynically engaging in tactics that are of no benefit to any of the parties involved in its allegations.

The Canadian Franchise Association stands by our actions and will continue to professionally assist franchisors and franchisees in the coming years.


Richard Cunningham
President and CEO Canadian Franchise Association

Cc: Mr. Howard Hampton MPP, Leader Ontario NDP

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