process demonstrates that there is no support for the class
action amongst existing franchisees. They argue that
[t]he results of the opt-out period demonstrate that most current fran-
chisees have no interest in pursuing the class action against PV. It is
these current franchisees who have ongoing commercial relationships
with PV and who appreciate both the progress made by PV in addressing
franchisee concerns and the impact the class action has on the entire
 Pet Valu will no doubt use the results of the opt-out process in support of its motion to de-certify the class action.
 It is now apparent that the dramatic increase in opt-outs
near the end of the opt-out period was the result of a well-organized, systematic and highly effective campaign by the
CPVF to deal a death blow to the class action by persuading
other franchisees to opt out.
 In the next two sections, I will explain how this was
accomplished. Again, some background will be necessary.
 Like many franchises, Pet Valu has a franchisee association, the CFC. The primary purpose of the CFC is to act as
a means of communicating franchisees’ concerns to Pet Valu.
Every franchisee is a member of the CFC. The CFC has an
Executive Committee (the “Executive”) consisting of ten regional
representatives, elected by the franchisees in each region, and
one member at large.
 I do not accept the plaintiff’s submission that the CFC or
the Executive is somehow under the control of Pet Valu. It
receives some modest operational funding from Pet Valu, but it
is otherwise independent.
 I do, however, accept the submission that the Executive
has been vocal in its opposition to this action and has done its
best to undermine support for it.
 At the annual general meeting of the CFC on August 17,
2011, after the certification of this action and during the opt-out
period, there was considerable discussion of this class action.
The atmosphere was described as “heated” and Rodger and
others spoke in favour of the action, while others, including the
Executive, were opposed. Concern was expressed that some
franchisees had not received the opt-out package. A motion was
passed that the parties be asked to extend the opt-out deadline
due to difficulties encountered with the mailing of the opt-out
 It is apparent that there was some concern at the meeting
about the possibility that Pet Valu would take repercussions