2015 a grim year for Christmas lights in Canada


TORONTO – Canadian Tire is accusing Wal-Mart of ripping off the design of its made-in-Canada clip-on Christmas lights and is demanding that the mega-retailer cease and desist — the latest bit of bad news for people looking for electrical holiday finery.

A Federal Court claim filed by Canadian Tire alleges that Wal-Mart worked with two Taiwanese companies to copy the construction and packaging of its Noma Quick-Clip lights.

It wants Wal-Mart to stop selling the “unique” product due to copyright infringement, and is seeking $500,000 in punitive damages. Wal-Mart has yet to file a statement of defence.

Earlier this week, Canadian Tire issued an unrelated safety warning to customers who purchased Christmas lights from its “Holiday Collection” line. It says some of the products may pose a fire and shock hazard.

Canadian Tire is recalling 12 products made by Taizhou Hongpeng Colour Lanterns that were sold between Aug. 1, 2015 and Nov. 30, 2015, Canadian Tire said.

Health Canada has previously issued warnings this year about hazards with seasonal lights that were sold at Wal-Mart, Dollarama, The Michaels Companies, Loblaw Companies Inc., Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix. Affected brands include Life at Home, Magi Décor, Celebrate it and Danson Décor.

The federal agency’s tests on several lines of seasonal lights revealed hazards that included “overheating, as well as the risk of fire and electric shock.”