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‘Animal Justice ‘CANADA® LEGISLATIVE FUND March 11, 2015 VIA LETTER MAIL to: Competition Bureau of Canada Attn: John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition Place du Portage I 50 Victoria Street, Room C-114 Gatineau, Québec KIA 0C9 VIA FAX (page 1 of 27 pages) to: 819-997-0324 Dear Mr. Pecman: “omplaint Regardiny ja Goose Deceptive Marketing Practices Please see the attached application pursuant to Section 9(1)(b) of the Competition Act, RSC 1985, c C-34 (“the Act”), This application is advanced by Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund (“Animal Justice”), a national non-profit focused on using the law and legal skills to advocate for the humane treatment of animals, on behalf of six (6) Canadian residents who are of the opinion that winter jacket manufacturer Canada Goose has committed offences under Part VI of the Act, and has engaged in reviewable practices contrary to Part VILLI of the Act. Specifically, the complainants believe that Canada Goose is misleading consumers by engaging in deceptive marketing practices in relation to its pervasive brand of winter jackets. The complainants request that the Commissioner of Competition inquire into the deceptive marketing practices engaged in by Canada Goose, specifically: 1) The false and misleading claim that the coyote fur used in Canada Goose jackets is “ethical and responsible,” with fur sourced from coyotes that are killed “humanely” pursuant to strict standards for fur trappers. In reality, trapping is inherently inhumane. Coyotes Killed for Canada Goose jackets often experience severe suffering, due to both inhumane trapping methods and lax regulation of trapping. This claim is untrue and deceives consumers. 2) The false and misleading claim that Canada Goose jackets ~ which use coyote fur trim around the hoods - are of superior quality and warmth than jackets that use Animal Justice Canada Legisiative Fund 5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5X 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 2 of 27 faux fur. In reality, no such evidence exists; this claim is untrue and deceives consumers. Enclosed, please find a summary of the evidence that Canada Goose is engaged in deceptive marketing practices contrary to the Act, and a solemn declaration signed by each of the complainants. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you should have any questions. | look forward to your response. ‘Yours sincerely, C4 labchuk Camille Labchuk, BA Hon, JD Barrister & Solicitor Director of Legal Advocacy Animal Justice Canada Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund 5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5X 107 info@animaljustice.ca Page 3 of 27 Co re Prac Decey Canada Goose is a clothing manufacturer in Canada producing a variety of outerwear items, including parkas, jackets, and coats (collectively referred to as “jackets”) designed for use in cold weather conditions. Its products are available for purchase in Canada through both the Canada Goose website,! and in retail locations.” Canada Goose jackets use coyote fur trim around the hoods. The complainants believe that Canada Goose has engaged in a persistent pattern of using deceptive practices to market its winter jackets by repeatedly misleading consumers with respect to the nature and quality of its jackets, which include coyote fur. Specifically, Canada Goose falsely claims that a) coyote fur in their jackets is “humane”, and b) the coyote fur trim on Canada Goose jackets is thermally superior to faux fur, therefore Canada Goose jackets are of superior quality compared to jackets that do not use animal fur. ‘The complainants believe this disingenuous marketing campaign is deliberately designed to exploit and mislead consumers who are environmentally conscious and/or concerned with animal welfare issues. Research by Statistics Canada shows that consumers factor ethical concerns into purchasing decisions, and are increasingly likely to choose or avoid products for ethical reasons.’ In a 2007 survey conducted by the Environics Group, 67 percent of Canadians said they were “likely to switch to banks, stores, and other retail or services outlets that have demonstrated their commitment to a cleaner, greener, environment,” and 75 percent of Canadians said they were “likely to change their own shopping habits to purchase more environmentally friendly goods and services.”* Consumers are also highly sensitive to animal welfare concerns. In the context of food purchases, consumers have consistently reported that animal welfare claims about food products influence their purchasing decisions.° Consumers report that labels claiming a food product comes from animals that were “humanely raised” is very important to them in causing them to believe that the product was ethically produced.® Although ' sghop", online: Canada Goose . 2 “Bind a Retailer”, online: Canada Goose . 3 Martin Turcotte, Ethical Consumption, Component of Statistics Canada Catalogue, No. 11-009-X (25 January 2010), online: Statistics Canada . * id. 5 Conner DS et al, Consumer Preferences for Pasture-Raised Animal Products: Results _from Michigan, Journal of Food Distribution Research, July 2008, at 12-25. * Ethical Food: A Resarch Report on the Ethical Claims that Matter Most to Food Shoppers and How Ethical Concerns Influence Food Purchases, Context Marketing, March 2010, online: Context Marketing . Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund ‘5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MSX 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 4 of 27 comparatively little research exists on animal welfare concerns in relation to fashion choices, it is reasonable to conclude that claims that clothing items are humanely produced will hold similar sway with consumers. The complainants believe the public statements made by Canada Goose outlined below are deliberate mistepresentations committed with the intent to promote the business interests of Canada Goose, rather than convey accurate information to consumers. The complainants believe the representations are false and misleading in a material respect, contrary to the federal Competition Act. It is essential that that Competition Bureau act to ensure clothing manufacturers and retailers be prevented from making misleading claims about animal welfare, an issue about which consumers care greatly. Part A of this legal complaint reviews the applicable provisions under the Competition Act. Part B summarizes the representations made by Canada Goose about its jackets, and explains how those representations mislead consumers. Part C is the conclusion. ‘The Competit Act ‘The Competition Act (“the Act*)' exists to promote fair business practices and encourage competition in the Canadian marketplace. A core goal of the Act is the protection of consumers. One way that the Act protects consumers is by prohibiting manufacturers and advertisers from misleading the public about products, thereby protecting consumers from being duped into product purchases by inaccurate or misleading information. The Act provides two distinct adjudicative regimes through which misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices can be addressed — the criminal track, and the civil track. ‘The criminal track, pursuant to s. 52(1) of the Act, Part VI, is the more serious route, creating a full mens rea offence. It creates a general criminal prohibition against deceptive marketing practices, providing thet: “No person shall, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, the supply or use of a product or for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, any business interest, by any means whatever, knowingly or recklessly make a representation to the public that is false or misleading in a material respect.” The civil track, pursuant to s. 74.01(1)(a) of the Act, Part VII.1, provides that it is reviewable conduct if a person, 7 Competition Act, RSC 1985, ¢ C-34, § [bid at s 52(1). Animal Justice Canada Legisiative Fund 5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MSX 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 5 of 27 “Jor the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, any business interest, by any ‘means whatever, a) makes “a representation 10 the public that is false or misleading in a material respect; or b) makes a representation to the public in the ‘form of a statement, warranty or guarantee of the performance, efficacy or length of life of a product that is not based on an adequate and proper test thereof, the proof of which lies on the person making the representation.” It is important to note that under both the criminal and civil tracks, there is no obligation to establish that any person was actually deceived or misled by the misleading representation.'° It is enough that the representations were simply made at all. The “material respect” aspect to the provision is broad. “Material respect” has been interpreted to mean that the impression created by the misleading statements must constitute a material influence in the mind of a consumer, such that an “ordinary consumer” would likely be influenced by it in deciding whether to purchase a product." An ordinary consumer has been defined as a credulous and inexperienced consumer. (Note that the Supreme Court rejected an attempt to use the standard of an average or sophisticated consumer with a normal degree of skepticism: see Richard v Time Inc, 2012 SCC 8, at para 81. Although that decision dealt with Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act, CQLR ¢ P-40, the Supreme Court noted its similarities with the Competition Act.) Further, the “general impression conveyed by a representation as well as its literal meaning shall be taken into account in determining whether or not the person who made the representation engaged in the reviewable conduct.”!” This means that a representation ‘can be partially true and partially false, or is capable of two meanings, one of which is true; a representation can be literally true but is in fact, misleading since it fails to reveal certain information; and a representation is literally or technically true but creates a false impression." In all of these circumstances, a representation could still be classified as misleading due to the general impression it creates. Substantively, the criminal and civil regimes are nearly identical. According to Competition Bureau policy, criminal charges should be pursued where a) there is clear and compelling evidence the accused knowingly or recklessly made a false or misleading statement, and b) a criminal prosecution is in the public interest.'* * Ibid at s 74.01(1)(a). ' Thid at 52(1.1), s 74.03(4)(a) "' Commissioner of Competition v Sears Canada Inc, 2005 CACT 2 (CanLII) at paras 333-44. "2 Supra note 5 at s 74,03(5). © Competition Bureau, “Additional Information about the Competition Act,” online: Competition Bureau www.competitionbureau.ge.ca/eic/site/cb- be.nsfleng/01315.html#Ger ™ Competition Bureau, “Misleading Representations and Deceptive Marketing Practices: Choice of Criminal or Civil Track under the Competition Act,” online: Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund ‘5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5X 107 info@animaljustice.ca Page 6 of 27 B. The Misleading Representations Made by Canada Goose This section details representations by Canada Goose that are false and misleading, providing evidence to support this position. i. Misleading Representations Made About “Humane” Fur Canada Goose makes representations regarding its use of fur in in the “FAQs” section of its website.'* For ease of reference, the text of the FAQs section pertaining to claims of humane treatment of animals is reproduced below. What is your fur policy? Canada Goose is deeply committed to the preservation of our global environment and the humane treatment of animals. We never purchase fur from fur farms, never use fur from endangered animals, and only purchase fur from certified Canadian trappers. Where do you source your fur? Canada Goose purchases all of its fur through North American Fur Auctions (NAFA), formerly known as the Hudson's Bay Fur Trade, We only purchase Canadian coyote fur and we only buy from certified trappers, which NAFA monitors very closely. ‘Additionally, all trappers in Canada are regulated by the provincial and territorial governmental wildlife departments to ensure that animals are captured humanely and that the animals are not endangered. In fact, Canada is the world leader in humane trapping methods, providing the scientific basis for the Agreement on International ‘Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS), which establishes the required standards for approval and certification of animal trapping devices. The above representations seek to convince consumers both that in general, trapping animals for their fur in Canada is humane, and that in particular, Canada Goose’s use of fur is humane. However, the complainants believe that these representations are misleading, both with respect to the general impression they create about the trapping industry, and the specific claims made about the fur used by Canada Goose. Canada Goose uses language attempting to legitimize its fur use ~ including claims of “deep commitment... to the humane treatment of animals,” only buying from “certified . '§ “FAQs”, online: Canada Goose . Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund {6700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5X 107 info@animaljustice.ca Page 7 of 27 Canadian trappers,” that trapping regulations ensure animals are “captured humanely,” and that Canada is a “world leader in humane trapping methods”. Further, Canada Goose uses the euphemistic term “captured humanely” to describe the fate of the coyotes, which are, obviously, killed. These words attempt to convey the general impression that fur trapping in Canada is a strictly-regulated, humane practice, and that the coyote fur used by Canada Goose is obtained in a humane manner. ‘The complainants believe that the general impression Canada Goose seeks to create through these representations is inaccurate. These representations are contradicted by compelling evidence that trapping is inherently inhumane and causes significant animal suffering to the victims of the trapping industry. neither case, what the public perceives the term “humane” to mean does not accord with the trapping practices used in Canada. What Does “Humane” Mean? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “humane” means “marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration.” Synonyms for “humane” include “beneficent”, “benevolent”, “compassionate”, “kind”, “sympathetic”, and “warmhearted”. Indeed, the most common use of the term “humane” in Canada is in relation to Humane Societies, which are animal shelters tasked with rescuing and caring for animals, and often investigating allegations of animal cruelty. These organizations contribute significantly to enhancing the welfare and well-being of animals. The complainants believe that a representation that a product or product component is “humane” signifies that it did not cause animals to experience pain, injury, or suffering. The complainants submit that the most common understanding of the term “humane” is in line with their view. In evaluating animal welfare claims about consumer products, such as use of the word “humane”, there is an important analogy to be made to environmental claims about consumer products. To assist advertisers and ensure consumers are not being misled by inaccurate environmental claims, the Competition Bureau partnered with the Canadian Standards Association to develop guidelines, in “Environmental claims: A guide for industry and advertisers” (“the Guide”)."” The Guide acknowledges that consumers are increasingly concemed about environmental aspects of products, and that information provided must be accurate and verifiable to prevent marketplace confusion and unwarranted claims.”” "® Canadian Standards Association, Environmental claims: A guide for industry and advertisers, June, 2008, online: . ” Ibid 83.5. Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund 5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MX 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 8 of 27 ‘The Guide cautions that environmental claims that are “vague or non-specific or which broadly imply that a, product is environmentally beneficial or environmentally benign should not be used." This includes claims like “safe for the environment”, “non- polluting”, “environmentally friendly”, ecological”, and “green”. These claims should be reserved for products whose lifecycles have been thoroughly examined and verified, as otherwise they could be considered false and misleading, The Guide cautions that a general claim of “sustainability” should never be made, as this term is complex. Although animal welfare claims are not covered by the Guide, the term “humane” can easily be analogized 0 the vague or non-specific terms cited above, like “environmentally friendly” or “sustainable”, that should simply not be made. Like those terms, “humane” has no one definition, and could mean different things to different people. To at least a sizable segment of consumers, “humane” means that a product did not contribute to animal suffering. The rationale behind prohibiting the use of vague, non- specific environmental terms extends perfectly to the use of the term “humane” to describe animal practices. Use of the term “humane” will inevitably lead at least some consumers to conclude that a product described by this term was produced by means that did not contribute to animal injury or suffering. As demonstrated below, the fur trim used by Canada Goose and described as “humane” is very far from this standard. ‘Trapping Ai ‘Not Humane It is inaccurate and misleading to claim that trapping and killing animals for their fur is done humanely in Canada, both with respect to the practice of trapping animals in general, and trapping coyotes in particular. Trapping inevitably results in pain, suffering, and death for the animal victims of the trapping industry. ‘According to Dr. Shelley Alexander, a conservation ecologist specializing in human/wildlife conflict and coyote ecology, “The scientific evidence is definitive - trapping causes suffering and pain. To call such thing humane depends on a very narrow and outdated understanding of the measures of suffering.” Canada is a party to the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (“AIHTS”).” AIHTS was developed by the fur industry, for the fur industry, in response to fears that the European Union would close its borders to imports of fur from countries that use painful and inhumane leg hold traps for animals. AIHTS was devised by Canada * Bids 4.4. 2 “Agreement on international humane trapping standards between the European ‘Community, Canada and the Russian Federation” (1998), online: Official Journal of the European Communities L42 . Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund 6700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MBX 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 9 of 27 and Russia not to ensure animals do not suffer while being trapped, but to ensure lucrative European fur markets stayed open to Canadian trappers. Despite using the word “humane” in its name, ATHTS does not ensure that trapping methods used in Canada are in line with what people perceive to be humane. Rather, inhumane practices are still permitted and pervasive. Participation in AINTS merely required Canada to phase out certain types of traps, like steel-jaw leg hold traps, and to conduct research on trapping methods through the Canadian Trap Certification Program. It allows traps to be used that are proven to cause poor welfare to at least some animal victims. In Canada, trappers use three primary types of traps to kill animals: leg hold traps, “body gripping” kill traps, and snares. Coyotes are trapped using each of these methods. Leg hold traps are designed to restrain an animal by catching its leg. Leg hold traps can be set for coyotes, wolves, lynx, foxes, and bobcats on the land, and for minks, beavers, muskrat, and otters under or near the water. This type of trap is legal in every province in Canada. Under AIHTS, models of leg hold traps approved for use in Canada must meet an extremely low standard: a trap will be approved if research shows that 80 percent of animals caught in it do not show signs of poor animal welfare. This means that traps are approved and used even where research shows that 20 percent of the animals trapped in it do show signs of poor welfare, including fractures, joint luxation, severance of a tendon ‘or ligament, major periosteal abrasion, several external bleeding, severe muscle degeneration, tooth fracture, ocular damage, spinal cord injury, severe organ damage, amputation of limbs, or death. Body-gripping traps are traps designed to kill animals by crushing their bodies between pieces of metal. Again, under AIHTS, body gripping traps approved for use in Canada must meet an extremely low standard: research must show that 80 percent of animals caught in an approved Kill trap will die within a species-specific time frame, ranging from 45 seconds to five minutes. For coyotes, the standard is five minutes. This means that kill ccan legally coyotes even where 20 percent als are not de within the allotted time frame. Thus, approved kill traps may legally cause one out of every five animals trapped to suffer from painful, serious injuries instead of dying “instantly” (within five minutes), sometimes for days before a trapper checks the trap and eventually Kills the injured, suffering animal. Snares are metal nooses designed to either tighten around an animal's leg or body to restrain the animal, or kill an animal by trapping it around its neck and strangling it. As the animal struggles to free itself, the snare tightens. Animals may suffer alive, fighting for breath, until the trapper retums to kill them. Snares are considered inhumane by veterinarians and animal ‘organizations, Snares are not covered under AIHTS, and there has been little attempt over the decades to improve the design of snares used in Canada. Animal Justice Canada Legisiative Fund 5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MBX 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 10 of 27 The Federal Provincial Committee on Humane Trapping was a body funded by governments, the fur industry, and welfare organizations. It was tasked with reviewing scientific data on trapping methods, and said in its final report, after years of study, that “snares to not have the potential to consistently produce a quick death.” Even the Fur Institute of Canada, which promotes the interests of the fur industry, believes a “humane” death is one that occurs within 300 seconds of capture. But under laboratory conditions, it takes approximately eight minutes, under perfect conditions, for a snare to strangle a coyote ~ three minutes longer than what even the fur industry itself claims to be humane. ‘The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies considers snares to be “very inhumane™™* Dr. Jose Diaz, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary has researched the time it takes for canids like coyotes to die from strangulation. His conclusion was that, “Death can take hours through an extremely painful and slow process.” A further reason that trapping in Canada cannot be called humane is that animals may be left to suffer for days in traps before trappers check their trap lines. The time within which trappers must check leg hold traps varies between provinces, ranging from 24 hours to five days. In the very best case scenario, these standards mean that an animal trapped in a leg hold trap that is not showing signs of poor welfare may be left in a trap for between one and five days, without food or water, in the cold. In the worst of scenarios, this means that animals suffering from severe, painful injuries caused by leg hold traps, or animals injured but not killed quickly by body gripping traps, may be left to suffer in agony from painful injuries for up to five days, experiencing frostbite or other extreme weather injuries, before the traps are checked and they are killed by a trapper. As noted above, traps used in Canada may legally allow up to 20 percent of animals to show poor signs of welfare if they are trapped in leg hold traps, or experience severe injury, but not immediate death, if caught in body gripping traps. For body gripping traps or snares that are designed to kill animals “instantly”, there is often no prescribed time frame for checking traps. Therefore, the 20 percent of animals that may not die “instantly” as a result of body gripping traps or kill snares could legally be left lingering indefinitely, possibly to die of exposure, hunger, thirst, or predation before a trapper attends to check the trap. ® “Report of the Federal Provincial Committee for Humane Trapping: Findings and Recommendations” (1981), Federal Provincial Wildlife Conference, Canada. Trapping standards”, online: Canadian Federation of Humane Societies . Animal Justice Canada Legisiative Fund 5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MSX 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 11 of 27 Finally, trappers kill any live animals they discover in their traps. Animals are usually clubbed, suffocated, or strangled to death by trappers because a gunshot wound would spoil the fur pelt, even though a gun would likely provide the quickest death to the animal, Canadian law does not set out any standards specific to killing live animals found in traps, thus trapper may legally use virtually any kill method, regardless of how inhumane it might be considered by veterinary experts. The complainants believe that the humane claims made by Canada Goose are intended to give the impression that there is no animal suffering involved in trapping coyotes for their fur. This is not the case. It is apparent from the above information that despite what Canada Goose would have consumers believe, animals frequently sustain painful injuries while being trapped and die under horrible conditions in trap lines. This pain and suffering is permitted by Canadian law, and is an unavoidable consequence of trapping animals in general, and coyotes in particular, for their fur. Under no reasonable definition of the word “humane” can animal and coyote trapping in Canada be deemed to be humane. As noted above, claims that a product is “humane” are very likely to influence a consumer's purchasing decisions, thus constituting a material influence in the mind of a consumer. ‘Trapping Animé indangered S| In its FAQ section, Canada Goose claims, “We never purchase fur from fur farms, never use fur from endangered animals, and only purchase fur from certified Canadian trappers” and that “trappers in Canada are regulated by the provincial and territorial governmental wildlife departments to ensure that... animals are not endangered.” Although it is technically true that Canada Goose uses fur from coyotes, which are not endangered, the above representations creates the general impression that Canada Goose’s activities do not result in the death of endangered species. This impression is inaccurate. In reality, trapping inevitably leads to endangered, threatened, and at-risk species being trapped. Since traps do not discriminate between species, they catch any animal unfortunate enough to stumble into them. Every year, dogs, cats, birds, and other animals, including endangered species, named “trash catch” or “non-target animals” by the fur trade, are crippled or killed by traps, and these animals can suffer for days before they die or are found and killed by trappers.** The numbers of the highly endangered woiverines of eastern Canada continue to decline because of trapping.”* 25 «Trapping incidents”, Fur-Bearer Defenders, online: . 26 “COSEWIC Assessment and Update Status Report on the Wolverine Gulo gulo: Eastern population Western Population in Canada” (2003), online: Committee on the Animal Justice Canada Legistative Fund 6700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MSX 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 12 of 27 According to Dr. Sherri Cox, a wildlife veterinarian, "Endangered species, companion animals and at-risk species can all be caught in these traps as easily as the target species. There is no way to prevent this — and unfortunately, there is no way to know just how many of these non-target animals are caught and killed every day. Furthermore, suffering can be significant while caught in traps if the animals self-mutilate to try and escape. I have treated infections, lacerations, and fractured bones from such traps.” There are many reported examples of threatened species being caught in traps in Canada, including an endangered eastern wolverine being caught in 2012 in a trap set to target lynx, a protected cougar being caught in Manitoba in 2011 (only the fourth cougar reported in that province since 1973), and many more examples from the United States.”” Of course, it would not be surprising if many instances where endangered species caught in traps were not reported to authorities or to the media. v. NAFA Does Not Monitor Trappers Closely Contrary to Canada Goose’s statements in the FAQ section, North American Fur ‘Auctions (“NAFA”) does not monitor trappers. NAFA is not an oversight body; NAFA is, a. commercial fur auction house. ‘Trappers provide pelts to NAFA on consignment, and NAFA later auctions the pelts off and provides a share of the profits to the trappers. There is no mechanism within NAFA to provide any degree of oversight of the trapping practices of the trappers from which NAFA accepts consignment pelts. NAFA’s Conditions of Sale policy, listed on its website, does not lay out any conditions whatsoever related to animal welfare or trapping practices.* Rather, the only condition of sale related to the pelts is that NAFA will destroy any pelts that it believes are not of commercial value. NAFA is a business and has as its primary concer the quality of the pelts it purchases and then later auctions off. It is unconcerned with other aspects of trapping. The NAFA website supplies other documents, such the “NAFA Pelt Handling Manual” and NAFA “Grading Manuals.”* The coyote Grading Manual simply outlines a process for the sorting of coyote pelts based on colour and size. There are no policies or provisions related to the method of trapping or otherwise killing coyotes. Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada at 21. 2” . 8 “Conditions of Sale”, online: NAFA . Resources”, online: NAFA . Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund 5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5X 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 13 of 27 vi. Misleading Claims About Fur Warmth Canada Goose makes claims about the warmth qualities of coyote fur on its website in the FAQ section, and in a “Canada Goose Fur Policy” video.” The text of the FAQ section pertaining to fur warmth is reproduced below. Why do you use fur? Our jackets are built for the coldest places on Earth—places where skin around the face can freeze in an instant, In these environments, fur is not just the best choice, but the only choice. Fur trim around a hood works to disrupt airflow and create turbulent (warm air), which protects the face from frostbite. Fake or “faux” fur simply does not protect as well cas real fur. Faux fur is only a fashion statement and does not act in the same way that real fur does to protect skin. We have chosen to use Canadian coyote fur because it is highly abundant. In fact, in many regions of North America, coyotes are considered a ‘pest as they attack livestock, endangered prey species, pets and sometimes people. We know that whether or not people want to wear fur is a personal choice, and we respect that. In turn, we hope that people will respect our ethical and responsible use of fur The Canada Goose Fur Policy video makes further representations, including the following. 30 The video is accessible on the Canada Goose website online: , or viewable directly on YouTube, online: <. Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund {5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MBX 1C7 info@animaljustice.ca Page 14 of 27 Dani Reis: “Hi, my name is Dani Reis, I’m the president and CEO of Canada Goose. We ‘use coyote fur for a number of reasons. Number one, coyote fur works. It’s functional, it provides warmth around the face in a way that no synthetic fabric can. It does that in the coldest environments in earth, and it’s important to realize that sometimes urban centres and cities can feel like the coldest places on earth.” Narrator: “Coyote fur, unlike fake fur, doesn’t freeze, doesn’t hold moisture, retains heat, and is biodegradable.” ‘Aline Cotel: “Hi, my name is Dr. Aline Cotel, I’m from the University of Michigan. The ‘way fur works around the face, having the fur present on the edges, you increase the thickness of the layer of air which is coming into contact with your face, and therefore it really reduces the heat losses to have maximum warmth. But the presence of the fur is critical for this to be achieved.” ‘The above statements represent to consumers that coyote fur trim around the hood of a Canada Goose jacket is the best way — in fact, the “only” way ~ to protect a person’s facial skin from frostbite in harsh cold weather environments. Canada Goose states explicitly that faux fur does not protect skin in the same way, and is a mere fashion statement. ‘There is no scientific evidence to support Canada Goose’s claim that coyote fur is more protective of the face, in a way that “no synthetic material” can be. Although Canada Goose does not make explicit reference to any research that may have been performed by Dr. Aline Cotel, who makes comments in the Canada Goose Fur Policy video, a literature review reveals that Dr. Cotel co-authored only one published article about facial skin and fur. The article, entitled “Effect of ancient Inuit fur parka ruffs on facial heat transfer” explains the results of a study conducted to determine which form of traditional Inuit headgear, incorporating a fur element, was most effective in keeping the face warm! Several different geometries and configurations of fur around a hood were tested and compared in a wind tunnel. The article concluded that the “sunburst ruff configuration” was superior in reducing facial heat loss.” Synthetic fur and other materials were not considered in this ani ‘was the only material examined. Although the study provides interesting data regarding configurations of animal fur that are more or less effective, it provides no data about the comparative properties of animal fur, synthetic fur, or any other synthetic materials. In fact, synthetic materials have been shown to have significant performance advantages over animal fur, including better durability and resistance to environmental assaults.” ‘They can also be more resistant to mildew and are not susceptible to attack from insects, 5 Aline J Cotel, et al., “Effect of ancient Inuit fur parka ruffs on facial heat transfer,” Climate Research Vol. 26 (19 April 2004): 77-84. % Ibid at 84. 8 «How Products Are Made, Volume 3: Fake Fur”, online: <. Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund 6700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MSX 1C7 Info@animaljustice.ca Page 15 of 27 have very low moisture absorbency, and can dry quickly.™ In making the unsupportable claim of product superiority, that animal fur is categorically more functional and more protective than synthetics, the complainants believe that Canada Goose is misleading ‘consumers. It is reasonable to assume that claims about the effectiveness of a product would constitute a material influence in the mind of a consumer. C. Conclusion The complainants believe that Canada Goose is profiting from its pattern of deliberate and purposeful deception about humane aspects of fur trapping, and the superiority of its fur trim over faux fur trim, as outlined in the complaint above. The complainants respectfully request that the Competition Bureau investigate Canada Goose for its multiple intentional misrepresentations on its website, and take all appropriate enforcement action to ensure that Canada Goose is accountable for the false and misleading information that it has willfully directed at consumers. ™ Ibid. Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund 5700-100 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario MSX 107 info@animaljustice.ca