November 17, 2023 – The federal NDP have agreed to support Liberal’s Bill C-56, the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act on the condition that amendments are made to incorporate elements of the NDP’s proposed Bill C-352, which proposed more expansive changes to the Competition Act. New to the Bill C-56 are increased penalties for cartel conduct and abuse of dominance, authority for the Commissioner of Competition to independently conduct market studies, and an expanded scope for the act’s abuse of dominance provisions.
“We are glad to see the NDP take the opportunity to get Canadians stronger competition law sooner,” said Keldon Bester, Executive Director of the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project. “In particular we welcome the independent authority of the Commissioner to bring market studies and a broader scope for Canada’s abuse of dominance laws. For markets that are already highly concentrated, something Canadians are all too familiar with, strong abuse of dominance laws are important to check concentrated corporate power and protect much needed competition.”
Though the federal government has indicated it is working on a more comprehensive set of reforms for the Competition Act following its public consultation, Bill C-56 was proposed to address outstanding issues with Canada’s competition law in the interim. In March, CAMP proposed a wide-ranging set of reforms for a Competition Act designed to support a fair economy including stronger protections against harmful mergers, better tools to prevent monopolies from abusing their dominance, and more transparent and decentralized enforcement.