2002 Development of a Uniform Franchise Act

June 17, 2002



The Uniform Law Conference of Canada (“ULCC”) is pleased to announce the establishment of a new project to consider and make recommendations for the adoption of uniform franchise legislation throughout Canada.

The ULCC is devoted to harmonizing the Canadian statute law where harmony is beneficial.  It does so by preparing legislation that it recommends for enactment by the provinces and territories and sometimes by the federal government as well.  The ULCC is made up of lawyers selected by the federal government as well as the provincial and territorial governments.  These lawyers come from the private sector, Departments of Justice, law reform bodies and the academic community.

This project will be directed by a working committee established by the ULCC as part of its Commercial Law Strategy, whose aim is to modernize and harmonize commercial law in Canada, with a view to creating a comprehensive framework of commercial statute law which will make it easier to do business in Canada, resulting in direct benefits to Canadians and the economy as a whole.

Franchising has experienced phenomenal growth throughout the world and in Canada in recent years, and is of substantial significance to the Canadian economy.  It is estimated that franchise businesses account for close to $100 billion dollars in sales across Canada, representing 40¢ out of every retail dollar spent.  There are estimated to be over 1,000 franchise systems in Canada, with investments for franchises ranging from several thousand dollars for simple home service franchises to millions of dollars for franchises like fully equipped hotels.

At the present time Alberta and Ontario are the only provinces in Canada which have legislation directly regulating franchising.  However, other provinces have indicated an interest in following this pattern.  The ULCC believes that a uniform regulatory regime across all of Canada, bridging the interests of franchisors, franchisees and others involved in franchising, is a goal supported by all stakeholders.

The franchise law project committee will be co-chaired by two leading Canadian franchise lawyers, both based in Toronto.  John Sotos, a founding partner of Sotos Associates, specializes in franchising, licensing and distribution law, served on the Ontario Government’s Franchise Sector Working Team considering franchise legislation for that province and is a major proponent of balanced franchising throughout the country.  Frank Zaid, a senior partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, has served as counsel to many of Canada’s and the world’s leading franchisors, and is Past General Counsel to the Canadian Franchise Association and Past Chair of the Council of Franchise Suppliers of the International Franchise Association.

The committee, established on a national basis to draw upon the resources of other experienced franchise lawyers and interested industry and government representatives, includes the following additional individuals:

Richard Cunningham


Canadian Franchise Association

Mississauga, ON

Jean H. Gagnon

Pouliot Mercure

Montreal, PQ


James E. Lockyer


Faculté de droit

Université de Moncton

Moncton, NB

Bruce Macallum

Ministry of Attorney General

Province of British Columbia

Victoria, BC

Leonard Polsky

Gowling Lafleur Henderson, LLP

Vancouver, B.C.

Daniel Zalmanowitz

Witten LLP

Edmonton, AB

Hélène Yaremko-Jarvis

National Coordinator, Commercial Law Strategy

Uniform Law Conference of Canada

Mississauga, ON

The Committee intends to engage in a wide consultative process in order to receive input and suggestions from all interested parties.  In that regard, a dedicated list serve will be established for communication and submission purposes.

The National Co-ordinator of the Commercial Law Strategy of the ULCC, Hélène Yaremko-Jarvis, will be facilitating communications regarding this project and should be contacted by those individuals or organizations having an interest in being included on the list serve.

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August 2021

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