Letter Martin to Minister December 18, 2001

As you know, Country Style is in the process of seeking court direction to send police in to forcibly close these stores, some of which are in my riding, and lockout the franchisees.

Tony Martin, MPP Letter
December 18, 2001

Norm Sterling
Minister of Consumer and Business Services

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The Honourable Norman Sterling
Minster of Consumer and Business Services
250 Yonge Street, 35th Floor
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 2N5

December 18, 2001

Dear Minister,

I am writing in regard to the simmering dispute between Country Style Donuts and their more than 40 franchisees. As you know, Country Style is in the process of seeking court direction to send police in to forcibly close these stores, some of which are in my riding, and lockout the franchisees. This dispute, regrettable as it is, is becoming almost typical of the turmoil between franchisors and franchisees across Ontario, and is reminiscent of the recent Grand & Toy case.

Minister, what distinguishes this case from Grand & Toy and other franchise-franchisee disputes we have discussed, and about which I know you are very concerned, is the threat of a very ugly confrontation if the franchisor is successful in its effort to have the courts direct a police intervention.

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Minister, I am writing because I believe none of us want that to happen and I am seeking your support for my modest plan to bring a peaceful and mutually acceptable solution.

Here’s my plan:

1) Country Style withdraws their court application for police intervention.
2) Country Style makes a public commitment to follow the requirements of the Arthur Wishart Act to act “in accordance with reasonable commercial standards” and to live up to its “duty of fair dealing in its performance and enforcement.”
3) The Ontario Government directs that a forensic audit be done of Country Style to determine the validity of the financial information being used to justify the closure of the franchise operations.
4) The Minister of Consumer and Business Services offers to recruit a neutral third party, acceptable to both sides, to act as a mediator to this dispute.

Minister, if we can cooperate, you and I have an opportunity here to help bring about a positive solution to this dispute. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Yours Truly,

Tony Martin
NDP MPP Sault Ste. Marie


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Risks: Tony Martin, Political Champion, Ministry of Consumer and Commerical Services, Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Ministry of Government Services, Ontario, Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000, Canada, Intentional franchisor insolvency, Termination of franchisee, mass, Industry in disrepute, Violence, Police intervention, Canada, 20011218 Martin Letter

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