Ottawa probing Tim Hortons franchisee claims RBI failing to honour commitments


TORONTO — The federal government says it’s looking into concerns raised by some Tim Hortons franchisees about the potential violation of terms Ottawa placed on a deal that saw their parent company taken over by a Brazilian firm.

A spokesman for Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains says the government will investigate allegations made by a dissident group of franchisees that Tims owner Restaurant Brands International has failed to live up to promises it made to the federal government under the Investment Canada Act in 2014.

The government is responding to a list of grievances outlined in a letter sent to Bains earlier this month by lawyers representing the Great White North Franchise Association.

In the letter, the attorneys cite numerous commitments that Brazilian firm 3G Capital, which owns RBI, made to the federal government when it acquired Tim Hortons in 2014.

They say the company has failed to live up to those commitments, and that “appropriate remedies” should be made to franchisees.

It’s the latest move in an ongoing dispute between Tim Hortons franchisees and the parent company, which they claim has been cutting costs and squeezing restaurant owners profits, most recently by refusing to raise prices to help them cope with Ontario’s minimum wage hike.

The Canadian Press