Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland today released the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement (FES). This year’s FES is focused on affordability issues and reducing food costs for Canadians. Many of the measures outlined were previously announced, such as enhancements to the Competition Act and the creation of a Grocery Task Force. Unfortunately, other issues important to the retail industry were not addressed in the FES. While that is disappointing, the government had communicated the limited scope of this specific update well in advance.
Highlights of Specific Measures:
Proposed Competition Act amendments:
- Strengthen the tools and powers available to the Competition Bureau to enable it to crack down on abuses of dominance by bigger companies, such as predatory pricing;
- Further modernize merger reviews, including by empowering the Competition Bureau to better detect and address “killer acquisitions” and other anti-competitive mergers;
- Enhance protections for consumers, workers, and the environment, including by prohibiting misleading “greenwashing” claims and improving the focus on worker impacts in competition analysis;
- Empower the Commissioner of Competition to review a wider selection of anti-competitive collaborations and to find remedies to dissuade harmful conduct;
- Broaden the reach of the law by enabling more private parties to bring cases before the Competition Tribunal and receive payment if they are successful.
Right to Repair: the federal government will also amend the Competition Act in order to prevent manufacturers from refusing to provide the means of repair of devices and products in an anti-competitive manner.
Digital Services Tax: the government indicated its intent to pursue developing a DST with details to be released in the coming weeks/months.
RCC will work with officials to understand today’s announced initiatives and will continue to press government on all its other key files. For more information contact Matt Poirier, VP Federal Government Relations, RCC at email@example.com.
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Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs