Competition Law Turns the Corner in Canada with the Passage of Bill C-59

June 21, 2024 – As Parliament adjourns for the summer, Bill C-59 received royal asset and was made into law. Included in C-59 are the second flank of the government’s amendments to the Competition Act after the passage of Bill C-56 late last year. C-59 takes a number of positive steps to strengthen Canada’s competition law, including:

  • Introducing safeguards against mergers in already concentrated markets
  • Ensuring remedies for harmful mergers actually restore competition
  • Bringing effects on workers into analysis of potentially harmful mergers
  • Allowing private parties to bring cases against corporations harming competition
  • Closing the loophole that stuck Canadians with the legal bills of telecom giant Rogers

Along with C-56 passed late last year, C-59 represents the most material improvements to the Competition Act since its introduction in 1986. Departing from the pro-consolidation stance of the past four decades, Canada’s reformed competition presents a much stronger stance against abuses of concentrated economic power.

C-59 also reflects the cross-partisan support for stronger competition law in Canada. Like C-56, the Competition Act reform components of C-59 received unanimous support from federal MPs. Amid rising political polarization, elected officials of all stripes understand the need for laws that truly protect Canadians amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

“The passage of C-59 is an extremely welcome development and the culmination of years of effort to improve competition in Canada,” said Keldon Bester, Executive Director of CAMP. “The reforms in C-59 are the best defense against further consolidation at the expense of Canadians and a strong message that fair competition is way forward for our economy. Now the hard work begins to enforce these laws to the benefit of all Canadians.”