In the recent decision of Canstar Restorations Limited Partnership v. DKI Canada Ltd. (“Canstar”), the British Columbia Supreme Court interpreted Section 12(1) of the Franchises Act, (the “BC Act”) which is similar to Section 10 of the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 (the “Ontario Act”). Section 12 of the BC Act and Section 10 of the Ontario Act read:
The BC Act
12 (1) If a provision in a franchise agreement purports to restrict the application of the law of British Columbia or to restrict jurisdiction or venue to a forum outside British Columbia, the provision is void with respect to claims arising under a franchise agreement to which this Act applies.
The Ontario Act
10. Any provision in a franchise agreement purporting to restrict the application of the law of Ontario or to restrict jurisdiction or venue to a forum outside Ontario is void with respect to a claim otherwise enforceable under this Act in Ontario.