Following the issuance of a Consultation Paper on Franchise Law by the Manitoba Law Reform Commission (the “Commission”), in May 2007, the Commission asked whether franchise legislation was needed in Manitoba, and if so, what such legislation look like. The Commission provided its answers to these questions when it released its Final Report (the “Report”) in late December 2008. In preparing the Report, the Commission considered submissions in response to the Consultation Paper and the input of a one day Franchise Law Symposium held in Winnipeg on March 14, 2008 in which this author participated.

Overall, the Commission does recommend the enactment of franchise legislation in Manitoba. The form of legislation recommended is based on the Uniform Law Conference of Canada Franchises Act and Disclosure Document Regulation (the “ULCC Model Bill” and “Model Regulations”) produced by the ULCC Franchise Law Project in 2005 which was co-chaired by this author. The ULCC Model Bill and Model Regulations have been adopted by both Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick as the model for their respective franchise legislation.

In addition to the ULCC Model Bill and Model Regulations, the Commission makes further recommendations based in large part on proposals made by the Ontario Bar Association Joint Sub-Committee on Franchising (the working group of which was chaired by Sotos LLP counsel, Arthur Trebilcock) and to a lesser extent the practice in the United States and Australia. What follows is a discussion of the material additions to the ULCC Model Bill and Model Regulations and commentary where appropriate.

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