Moose International Inc. has filed its response to the Competition Bureau’s recent allegations that Moose had, contrary to paragraph 74.01(1)(a) of the Competition Act, made materially false or misleading “made in Canada” representations with respect to its Moose Knuckles winter parkas.
In its response, Moose has asked that the Competition Tribunal dismiss the Commissioner of Competition’s application arguing that, among other things, Moose had not made any materially false or misleading representations to the public and that, in fact, it has complied with the Bureau’s “Made in Canada” Guidelines which Moose states are “not the law” in Canada in any event.
The Bureau’s “Made in Canada” Guidelines list three conditions that, if satisfied, make it unlikely that the Bureau will take issue with a “made in Canada” claim:
- the last substantial transformation of the product must have occurred in Canada;
- at least 51% of the total direct costs of manufacturing the product must have been incurred in Canada; and
- the representation must be accompanied by a qualifying statement that there is foreign content in the product.
Moose provides details in its response as to how it feels that it complied with each of the conditions with respect to the representations that it made.
Further, Moose argues that it had exercised “due diligence” to prevent the complained of conduct from occurring which diligence included revising its production processes in order to comply with the Guidelines and seeking advice directly from the representatives of the Bureau as to whether it’s processes would be in accordance with the Guidelines. Under section 74.1 of the Competition Act, the court cannot, among other things, order Moose to pay the $4 million administrative monetary penalty sought by the Bureau if Moose can establish that it exercised due diligence to prevent the reviewable conduct – the alleged materially false or misleading representation – from occurring.