On September 26, 2012, John Pecman was
appointed as the new Interim Commissioner of Competition, to
lead the Competition Bureau until a new Commissioner of Competition
is appointed. In announcing Mr. Pecman's appointment the
Minister of Industry, the Honourable Christian Paradis said
""With nearly 30 years of experience at the Bureau, Mr.
Pecman has a keen understanding of competition law and marketplace
Mr. Pecman joined the Competition Bureau in 1984 and has worked
extensively in the enforcement branches of the Competition Bureau,
the agency that he now heads as Interim Commissioner. He has
been involved in numerous leading cases as the senior officer, some
of which were resolved on consent or by guilty plea, others of
which were contested before the Competition Tribunal.
Mr. Pecman was involved in the 1986 Palm Dairies case
at the Competition Tribunal, a case which was notable for a debate
over the Tribunal's role in approving remedies that had been
agreed with the merging parties (ultimately the legislation was
amended to remove Tribunal oversight of negotiated
remedies). He was a Competition Law Officer in the Mergers
Branch when it was created in 1987, following the 1986 amendments
to the Competition Act that created the modern competition
law regime, including the pre-merger filing and merger challenge
Mr. Pecman was next appointed Senior Competition Law Officer in
the Civil Matters Branch where he was the lead officer on the
Laidlaw contested abuse of dominance litigation, where the Director
of Investigation and Research (as the Commissioner was then known)
prevailed. He also worked on the Interac matter which resulted
in a remedial order being issued on consent.
In 1995, Mr. Pecman moved back to the Mergers Branch, where he
was involved as Senior Competition Law Officer in a number of
transactions where consent remedial orders were made, including ADM
Agri-Industries/Maple Leaf Mills, Canadian Waste Services/Capital
Environmental Resources, Abitibi-Consolidated/Donohue and
Lafarge/Blue Circle. He was also the lead officer on the hotly
contested Superior Propane merger litigation, a key milestone in
Canadian merger law.
In 2001, Mr. Pecman moved to the Civil Matters Branch where he
was the Assistant Deputy Commission and directed the filing of the
Canada Pipe abuse of dominance proceeding - another hotly contested
Canadian competition law landmark - as well as the Enbridge
Services abuse of dominance proceeding which was resolved on
In 2008, Mr. Pecman became the Senior Deputy Commissioner of the
Criminal Matters Branch, which enforces the cartel and bid-rigging
law. He was in charge of that branch when the new cartel law
came into force in March, 2010. While in charge of the Criminal
Matters Branch Mr. Pecman oversaw the Bureau's role in the
retail gasoline investigations in Ontario and Quebec, where
multiple charges have been laid and guilty pleas entered, in some
cases resulting in custodial orders, and has worked closely with
foreign competition authorities in multi-jurisdictional cartel
cases. Mr. Pecman is also currently a Co-Chair of the Cartel
Working Sub-Group on Investigative Techniques for the International
Competition Network (an international forum for competition law
Mr. Pecman is an economist, with an M.A. from McMaster
University. His appointment follows Melanie Aitken's
resignation as Commissioner of Competition.
Mr. Pecman has a strong enforcement background, having resolved
some cases on consent but also having litigated others. His
enforcement history spans a wide range of industries. The
Minister of Industry has chosen a highly experienced enforcer to
lead the Competition Bureau.
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On April 29, 2013, the Government of Canada tabled its budget implementation bill, the Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, which includes proposed amendments to the Investment Canada Act, particularly in relation to state-owned enterprises.
Following its approval in December 2012 of two high-profile transactions involving foreign state-owned enterprises acquiring Canadian businesses, the Canadian government announced new policies that would guide the minister of industry in applying the Investment Canada Act (ICA) to subsequent similar transactions.
On April 18, 2013 before Justice L.D. Ratushny of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, a Japanese supplier of motor vehicle components, Yazaki Corporation ("Yazaki") pleaded guilty to three counts of bid-rigging, in violation of subsection 47(2) of the Competition Act.