Province admits consumer, franchise laws may be inadequate

Laws in Ontario may not be protecting workers from questionable business activities, Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips acknowledged yesterday.

The Toronto Star
August 1, 2007

Province admits consumer, franchise laws may be inadequate
Rita Daly

Laws in Ontario may not be protecting workers from questionable business activities, Government Services Minister Gerry Phillips acknowledged yesterday.

Phillips said he has asked ministry staff to do some background policy work and look for possible loopholes in consumer protection and franchise legislation.

The minister expressed concern that a changing workplace is resulting in agencies and businesses charging thousands in upfront fees in return for the promise of being able to earn a living.

"It may very well be an issue that ends up falling between franchise legislation and the Consumer Protection Act," Phillips said. But he added any review will likely mean working with the labour ministry to also look for possible loopholes in employment standards legislation.

Critics have been calling for reform following a Star investigation about Countrywide, a janitorial operation that charges workers up to $12,000 in exchange for office-cleaning work. Dozens received no work or lost money after investing in what they now believe is an illegal or unethical scheme.

Complaints to federal and provincial agencies and the police over the years have gone unheeded – workers were told it was a contractual dispute that had to be dealt with in court. Few who sued recovered their investment.

Countrywide president Tom Morrissey has said he operates a legitimate business that has provided jobs for many cleaners, although he would not provide names. He also said it is not a franchise operation.


Brought to you by WikiFranchise.org

Risks: Appropriate franchise law, Canada: white-collar crime haven, Toothless law, Canada: An unwise place to invest, Slap on the wrist for white-collar crime, Immigrants as prey, Unintentional franchises, Insolvency, Franchise law being ignored, Can't collect on court decision, Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, CCAA, The Toronto Star, Ministry of Government Services, Ontario, Canada, 20070801 Province admits

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License