In October 2012, the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) began a project to bring forth recommendations for a Franchise Act for British Columbia. So far, five of the 10 provinces in Canada have franchise legislation. Provinces that have enacted franchise legislation are: Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and most recently, Manitoba. This leaves British Columbia as the most populated province in Canada that has yet to put franchise legislation in place.
The BCLI released Consultation Paper on a BC Franchise Act setting out tentative recommendations back in March 2013. It encouraged members of the franchise community to review the paper and to provide comments by September 30, 2013 after which time it will prepare a final report and recommendation for submission to the B.C. legislature.
According to the Canadian Bar Association’s “An Agenda for Justice” issued on February 5, 2013, a Franchise Act for British Columbia would fairly balance the interests of both franchisors and franchisees and would provide protection to small business franchises. According to the report, the quick implementation of a Franchise Act for British Columbia would be a low-cost or no-cost legislative reform that could provide certainty for businesses.
In addition, Jim Emmerton, Executive Director of BCLI, recently had this to say: “Given the prevalence of franchised businesses in BC and their importance to the provincial economy, it is surprising that BC has no franchising legislation.” “The introduction of BC franchise legislation would further increase the degree of harmonization of regulatory standards within Canada, while also giving appropriate and needed protection to BC franchise owners.”