Competition Bureau seeks $4M penalty against Moose Knuckles
High-end clothing-maker rapped over alleged misleading made in Canada claims
OTTAWA — The Competition Bureau is seeking a $4-million penalty against high-end clothing maker Moose Knuckles, which it accuses of misleading marketing over claims that its winter parkas are made in Canada.
In an application to the Competition Tribunal, the regulator alleges the parkas marketed as made-in-Canada are mostly made in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia.
The bureau alleges that only the finishing touches to the jackets, such as adding the trim, zippers and snaps, are done in Canada.
However, Moose Knuckles president Ayal Twik said in an email response that the company “vigorously rejects the allegations” regarding the Canadian content of its products and the company’s operations in Canada.
“Moose Knuckle’s core products are made in Canada and always have been,” Twik said.
The bureau declined an interview request, but said in a statement Wednesday it is seeking an end to what it believes to be a false or misleading claim.
Besides the $4-million administrative penalty, the Competition Bureau is also seeking restitution for consumers.
“Consumers are willing to pay a premium for ‘Made in Canada’ products, and manufacturers know this,” Matthew Boswell, senior deputy commissioner of competition, said of the parkas, which typically retail from $595 to more than $1,000.
“The bureau has taken action in order to ensure that consumers – and retailers – have the correct information to allow them to make informed purchases.”
Under bureau guidelines, at least 51% of total direct costs of producing or manufacturing should incur in Canada for products claiming to be “Made in Canada.”
They should also be accompanied by a qualifying statement such as “Made in Canada with imported parts” or even more specific information such as “Made in Canada with 60% Canadian content and 40% imported content.”
The Moose Knuckles brand recently received a publicity boost after Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife, wore one of its red and black plaid jackets while stepping off a government plane last November in London.
© 2016 The Canadian Press