Starting November 20, 2012, an individual convicted of making an
anti-competitive agreement with a competitor or misleading
representations to the public can be punished with prison time,
instead of community service, when found guilty of violating
certain criminal provisions of the Competition Act.
Several criminal sentencing provisions of the Safe Streets and Communities Act come
into force today, imposing stricter sentences for
convictions under sections 45 (price-fixing), 47 (bid-rigging) or
52 (misleading advertising) of the Competition Act. This will have
two important impacts on individuals convicted under these criminal
1. Judges will lose the ability to sentence an individual to
community service, also known as a conditional sentence. As a
result, sentences under sections 45, 47 or 52 will need to be
served in prison and cannot be completed by community service or
house arrest. To date, no Canadian has ever served time in jail for
price-fixing or bid-rigging offences and as such, this represents a
fundamental shift in how these offences will be punished.
2. Individuals convicted under sections 45, 47 or 52 will have
to wait 10 years, instead of the current five years, to apply for a
pardon or record suspension after the sentence has expired. This
will make it more difficult for individuals to travel abroad
– particularly to the United States – in the 10 years
following the expiry of a sentence. As such, the ability to take
family vacations abroad or travel for work will be constrained.
Because there will now be less flexibility in the sentences that
can be agreed to, these changes will also affect the way that
corporations and individuals work out plea agreements with the Competition Bureau and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Further details on the Safe Streets and Communities Act
and its implications on the Competition Act can be found
in our previous
legal update on the topic.
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The Commissioner of Competition addressed innovation, enforcement and policy initiatives at the Competition Bureau in his keynote speech, "Strengthening Competition: Innovation, Collaboration and Transparency."
Used car listing website operator CarGurus Inc.'s attempt to force rival Trader Corporation to supply it with vehicle listing data has encountered a dead end as the Competition Tribunal denied it leave to commence a private application under several provisions of the Competition Act.
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