Canadian Competition in the Digital Era: Key Takeaways and Suggested Policy Approaches

Canadian Competition in the Digital Era: Key Takeaways and Suggested Policy Approaches

To watch Dynamic Discussions: Canadian Competition in the Digital Era click here. To read the event transcript click here.

On 17 November 2022, the Government of Canada launched a  public consultation of its competition law and enforcement framework. The 100-day consultation will be open for feedback until February 27, 2023. 

To frame the consultation, the Government published a Discussion Paper on the Future of Competition Policy in Canada outlining five main areas where it believes reforms may be warranted. 

The discussion paper follows the call for a comprehensive review of the Competition Act by Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell, and the approval of several amendments to the Act through the 2022 Budget Implementation Act. 

With the consultation, a critical question becomes even more timely: how can Canada develop a framework that allow regulators to “protect dynamic markets without impinging on the innovation and creativity that shape those very markets”? 

Against such a backdrop, Access Partnership and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce co-hosted an online event, to discuss what reforms, if any, are needed for Canada to continue promoting competition while ensuring that innovation and investment are not harmed.

Opening remarks for the online event were delivered by Michael Harvey, Vice President, Policy and International, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, while the event was moderated by Christopher Martin, Principal for Policy Innovation Practice, Head for North America, Access Partnership.

Speakers for the event featured: 

  • Mark Schaan, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • John Pecman, Former Commissioner of Competition of the Competition Bureau Canada
  • Alejandra Palacios Prieto, Former Chair of the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission
  • Jorge Padilla, Senior Managing Director, Compass Lexicon
  • Renata B. Hesse, Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LL

The speakers shared their expertise on the topic, including perspectives on questions such as: 

  • What reforms to the Act would benefit Canadian consumers and allow innovation to continue to grow? 
  • What are the most important issues regarding competition that Canada currently faces, and would the proposals in the Paper address them? 
  • Should Canada review the Act’s Purpose Clause? 

Along with highlighting the key takeaways from the webinar, we also outlined policy recommendations arising from the webinar discussions that the Canadian government may wish to consider as it aims to modernise its competition policy framework. 

To find out more about the changes proposed in the discussion paper, the webinar and its key takeaways,  download and read our paper in full: 


1 The call for a complete overhaul of the Canadian competition law framework had already been announced in February 2022 by François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry.
2  Government of Canada (2022), The Future of Competition Policy in Canada. Available at: The Future of Competition Policy in Canada

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