of the C.F.C. executive suggest that Pet Valu had been holding out the promise of a new franchise agreement as a means of addressing franchisees’ concerns that Pet Valu’s high profits were inflating the cost of goods. It is not
apparent to me that these concerns have been addressed by the “new”
agreement produced by Pet Valu and in fact the agreement seems to reduce,
not enhance, the franchisee’s rights.
 Communication with class members has been an
extremely contentious subject since certification. On February 7,
2011, shortly after the release of the certification decision, a case
conference was held, at which time there was a discussion of
communications with class members. The minutes of the confer-
ence noted, in part:
His Honour expressed his general concern about communications to the
class and advised that there was to be no communications to the class with-
out court approval.
 I authorized an e-mail to be sent to class members advising them of the certification decision, informing them that the
reasons could be read on class counsel’s website and that a formal notice of certification would be sent in due course.
 The following day, Rodger sent an e-mail to the class,
which contained a brief (and somewhat innocuous) comment
that had been not expressly authorized by me. This led to a
complaint by Pet Valu’s counsel, causing me to advise counsel as
In case it was not clear at the case conference yesterday, I expect that all
communications with the class members concerning this proceeding, from
the release of the certification decision to the end of the opt-out period, will
be approved by me. Please take the necessary steps to bring this direction to
the attention of your clients.
 The formal court order certifying the action, which
reflected the input of both parties, was issued on June 29, 2011.
It incorporated a plan of proceeding, which had specific provisions dealing with communication with the class. There was a
concern on both sides, which I shared, that communications with
the class between the time of certification and the end of the opt-out period would continue to be carefully supervised.
 This concern was a reflection of two realities. First, Pet
Value had to be able to communicate with its franchisees due to
their ongoing relationship. Second, each party was extremely dis-
trustful of the other, and neither wanted the other to be able to
sway class members’ freedom to make their own decision about
whether to opt out. The plan of proceeding therefore provided:
Communications with the Class Members before the expiry of the opt-out
period are subject to the direction of the class proceedings judge.