Competition Bureau provides recommendations to improve competition law in Canada
Bureau recommends strengthening laws based on enforcement experience
March 15, 2023 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau is pleased to present its submission in response to the Government of Canada’s ongoing consultation on the future of competition policy in Canada. The submission includes over 50 recommendations to help modernize and strengthen Canada’s Competition Act.
In short, Canada needs more competition. And Canadians need a modern and effective competition law to support that.
Canadians are witnessing the largest price increases seen in decades. This new reality underscores the importance of competition in the marketplace, because it helps make things more affordable for consumers and businesses. Stronger competition also fuels economic growth by giving new businesses an equal opportunity to compete.
But Canadian competition law is often described as outdated. In fact, the Competition Act – the toolkit the Bureau uses to protect and promote competition in Canada – has not been fully updated since the 1980s.
The Bureau is encouraged by the important first steps that have been taken on policy reform to date. This includes helpful amendments to the Act in June 2022 and the Government’s ongoing consultation. Now, we must keep up the momentum to make our laws fit for the modern economy.
The Bureau’s submission builds on its previous comments on Canada’s competition policy framework. It recommends significant improvements to the Act, including:
- Re-tooling the Act’s merger review framework to address issues with market concentration and harm to the public interest in competition;
- Giving the Bureau formal information-gathering powers for market studies; and
- Streamlining investigative and judicial processes to make them more timely and efficient.
Such changes can better protect and promote competitive markets. They would allow the Bureau to more easily identify competition issues and provide evidence-based advice to policymakers. And deliver more timely results for Canadians.
This advice is based on the Bureau’s experience administering and enforcing the Act as well as international best practices.
The Bureau is committed to making competition work better for Canadians and encourages all stakeholders to participate in this important reform conversation.
“We must take action to ensure that our competition law and policy are fit for the modern economy. The Competition Act is the toolkit we use every day to protect and promote competition for Canadians. With sharper, more modern tools, we believe we can achieve more for the benefit of all Canadians.”
Commissioner of Competition
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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
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