Bill C-38, the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity
Act, which was given first reading on April 26, 2012, contains
a proposed amendment to the Investment Canada Act to allow
the Industry Minister to publicly disclose the fact that he has
sent a preliminary notice to a foreign investor that he is not
satisfied that the foreign investor's proposed investment is
likely to be of net benefit to Canada.
In connection with BHP Billiton's bid for PotashCorp in 2010,
the Industry Minister found himself prohibited from commenting on
the reasons for issuing such a notice when, after its issuance, BHP
abandoned its bid before the Minister could make a final decision
under the Act. While, in the case of a formal decision to allow or
disallow an investment, the Industry Minister is expressly
permitted to communicate information contained in the reasons given
for such decision, there was no corresponding provision allowing
such communication with respect to his issuance of a preliminary
notice that he is not satisfied with the foreign investor's
proposed investment. The amendment remedies that situation;
however, if the information pertains to financial, commercial,
scientific or technical information, such information will not be
disclosed if the Minister can be satisfied that the release of such
information would be prejudicial to the person to whom the
The proposed amendments also contain provisions intended to
promote foreign investor compliance with undertakings by
authorizing the Minister to accept security, when offered by an
investor, for payment of any penalties ordered by a court for a
contravention of the Act.
In a much-anticipated decision, the Competition Tribunal rejected the Competition Commissioner’s application to force The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to relax its rules surrounding how Multiple Listing Service (MLS) information was used by real estate agents. The Tribunal also ordered the Commissioner to pay TREB’s costs.
The Interim Commissioner of Competition recently launched The Criminal Cartel Whistleblowing Initiative that encourages members of the public to provide the Competition Bureau information regarding possible violations of the criminal cartel and bid-rigging provisions of the Competition Act.
The Competition Bureau's Enforcement Guidelines as to "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" Claims (the "Guidelines") came into effect as of July 1, 2010. The Guidelines apply to all goods sold in Canada, including those that are imported.
Canada's Interim Commissioner of Competition recently announced a new Action Plan on Transparency and underscored the Bureau's commitment to rebuild trust with stakeholders through increased collaboration.
The Canadian government announced that the review threshold under the Investment Canada Act for investments by state-owned enterprises would be amended and, as a result, would not increase in the same way that non-SOE investments would.