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September 9, 2021 – After ten years and over twenty meetings, the C.D. Howe Institute’s Competition Policy Council has summarized the key measures that the next Canadian government should focus on for legislative reform of the Competition Act.

Competition law and policy has recently been elevated to the main stage of the Canadian policy debate. For example, Budget 2021 marked the first major move of the federal government to respond to the added interest in competition law and policy, with an increase in the Competition Bureau’s budget. This attention, including discussion of Competition Act matters at hearings of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology in April 2021, brings opportunity for positive reform, but also potential risk if the government makes changes that run counter to the interest of Canadians and the Canadian economy.

As the next federal government is expected to consider amendments to the Act, the Council held its twenty-first meeting on May 31 to discuss what amendments should be considered.

Recurring issues that continue to have the support of the Council in 2021 and should be considered in any legislative reform to the Competition Act include:

  • Providing for the budget and enforcement independence of the Bureau, while enhancing oversight, transparency, and accountability;
  • An expansion of private rights of access that allow private parties to launch actions rather than solely the Commissioner of Competition;
  • And the need to better articulate the “efficiencies defence,” which considers efficiencies versus anti-competitive effects in merger control.

The Competition Policy Council comprises top-ranked academics and practitioners active in the field of competition law and policy. The Council provides analysis of emerging competition policy issues. Elisa Kearney, Partner, Competition and Foreign Investment Review and Litigation at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, acts as chair. Benjamin Dachis, Director of Public Affairs at the C.D. Howe Institute and Professor Edward Iacobucci, Competition Policy Scholar at the Institute, advise the program. The Council, whose members participate in their personal capacities, convenes a neutral forum to test competing visions and to share views on competition policy with practitioners, policymakers and the public.

For more information contact: Lauren Malyk, Communications Officer, C.D. Howe Institute, 416-865-1904 Ext. 0247, lmalyk@cdhowe.org

The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.