The provision limiting communications before the end of
the opt-out period to those approved by the court reflected the
concern that the integrity of the opt-out process would be
impaired if class members were subjected to unfair, misleading
or oppressive communications by either party. That concern
exists in all class proceedings, but it exists in particular in cases
such as this one, where the class members have an ongoing relationship with the defendant. It also reflected the fact that the
atmosphere had been heated and there was some risk that the
fairness of the opt-out process would be undermined if the court
did not exercise careful control.
 Recognizing that Pet Valu needed to be able to communicate with its franchisees on an ongoing basis, the plan of proceeding permitted it to communicate with class members in the
context of its ongoing commercial franchise relationship with
them. It provided that following the expiry of the opt-out period,
the representative plaintiff would be entitled to communicate
information to class members on a regular ongoing basis by
means of periodic e-mail and other communications. It also provided that “limited and non-strategic information” would be
communicated to class members by regular updates of the website of class counsel.
 The certification order and the plan of proceeding did not
purport to curtail the right of other parties — specifically, other
franchisees or the CFC — to communicate concerning the class
 As part of the certification order, notice to the class
was approved. It provided that class members could opt out by
delivering an opt-out coupon on or before September 15, 2011.
Notices to the class were mailed on July 15, 2011. The opt-out
period was between July 15 and September 15, 2011.
 I now turn to the opt-out process and the campaign by the
The Opt-Out Process
 By September 4, 2011, there had been only 37 opt-out
forms received from class members.
 Beginning September 5, 2011, there was a noticeable
spike in the delivery of opt-out forms. By the end of the opt-out
period, a total of 140 opt-outs had been received. Three more
were received after the expiry of the period. About 65 per cent of
current franchisees opted out and about 10 per cent of former
franchisees opted out.
 Pet Valu and the respondent franchisees, who are founding members of CPVF, submit that the result of the opt-out