Originally published in Blakes Bulletin on Competition,
Antitrust & Foreign Investment, March 2011
Future policies under the Competition Act and the
Investment Canada Act may be impacted by the outcome of
the election; both statutes remain in full force and the review of
pending transactions will continue.
On March 25, 2011, the House of Commons voted in favour of a
non-confidence motion signalling the fall of the Conservative
minority government. The ensuing federal election is now scheduled
for May 2, 2011, and the outcome of the election may impact future
policies under both the Competition Act and the
Investment Canada Act.
Following the last election, the current federal government, led
by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ushered in wide-ranging statutory
amendments to the Competition Act and the Investment
Canada Act. The amendments to the Competition Act
included substantial revisions to the merger review process and
significant changes to the provisions dealing with agreements
between competitors. Amendments to the Investment Canada
Act included the introduction of a new national security
With the fall of the government last week, however, three other
bills before the House of Commons proposing amendments to the
Competition Act died. Included among them was Bill C-452,
which proposed to confer on the Commissioner of Competition the
power to initiate formal inquiries into entire industry sectors on
a lower standard than is currently prescribed in the statute.
Moreover, for the past month, the Standing Committee on
Industry, Science and Technology has been holding hearings
regarding the provisions governing foreign investment review under
the Investment Canada Act, and at which the co-chair of
Blakes Competition Group, Calvin Goldman, Q.C., participated. The
Committee had been considering whether to recommend changes to the
Act. With the fall of the government, the Committee may now be
unable to complete its deliberations until Parliament resumes
Both the Competition Act and the Investment Canada
Act remain in full force and will continue to be administered
during the election campaign. However, it remains to be seen
whether either of those statutes will become a major issue in the
campaign and, if so, whether the outcome of the election will lead
to any new policies under either review regime.
Blakes Competition, Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group
intends to provide additional updates as developments concerning
the Canadian federal election, and its impact on competition and
foreign investment policy, continue to unfold.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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