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2023 Fall Economic Statement Brings Important Changes to Canada’s Competition Law

November 28, 2023 – Today the federal government released the text of the proposed amendments to the Competition Act hinted at in last week’s Fall Economic Statement. The proposed changes are wide-ranging, going beyond the scope of Bill C-56 proposed in September. Highlights of the proposed legislation include consideration of labour markets and industry concentration in merger analysis, stronger powers to pursue agreements that harm competition, meaningful access for private parties to bring cases and a system of authorizations for agreements to meet environmental policy goals.

“Combined with Bill C-56, the legislation to implement the 2023 Fall Economic Statement make important improvements to Canada’s Competition Act,” said Keldon Bester, Executive Director of the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project. “Taken together the two pieces of legislation give the Competition Bureau and Canadian businesses a stronger set of tools to protect consumers, workers and producers from unfair methods of competition. Though there is still work to be done, especially regarding protecting Canadians from further consolidation in already concentrated markets and exploitative practices, these changes are the start of an important shift away from the Competition Act that big business was allowed to write nearly four decades ago.”

In the coming days CAMP will put out a more detailed explainer laying out the major changes in the Fall Economic Statement and what work remains to build a fairer economy in Canada.