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Tony is a Partner and Co-Leader of the firm’s Antitrust/Competition & Marketing Group. As former counsel to Canada’s Commissioner of Competition (Department of Justice Canada) and having served as counsel in many of Canada’s most significant competition matters, Tony is widely recognized as one of Canada’s leading practitioners in competition law and litigation.

A longer version of this article has also been published in the Canadian Competition Law Review.

“Greenwashing” involves making environmental (i.e., “green”) claims which may leave consumers with the false or misleading impression that a product or service is “environmentally friendly” when, in fact, it is not. In Canada, greenwashing – as a form of misleading advertising – is largely governed by the Competition Act (the “Act”). Specifically, section 74.01(1) of the Act sets out the general civil prohibition against making representations to the public for the purposes of promoting a product, service or business interest that are false or misleading in a material respect.[1] Section 52(1) of the Act contains the general criminal prohibition against misleading advertising. This section prohibits a person from knowingly or recklessly engaging in the activities prohibited by section 74.01(1).
Continue Reading Spotlight on Greenwashing

On September 20, 2022, the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) hosted its Competition and Green Growth Summit (the “Summit”). In a nutshell:  while the Competition Bureau did not provide any definitive policy pronouncements or specific directives (as the Summit was structured as a high level discussion on the intersection of competition law, deceptive marketing and sustainability policies), sustainability related matters are clearly an enforcement priority for the Bureau. Among other things, Commissioner Boswell highlighted the need for urgent action in addressing climate change and the increased interest by consumers and businesses in moving towards a greener economy.

Continue Reading Competition Bureau Green Growth Summit – Summary and Key Takeaways

Significant amendments to Canada’s Competition Act (the “Act”) are now law. The amendments can be broken down into five categories: (i) abuse of dominance, (ii) criminal cartel and competitor collaborations, (iii) marketing and consumer protection, (iv) merger review and (v) evidence gathering. All amendments are currently in effect with the exception of the new offence for wage-fixing and no-poach agreements and the increased penalties under the existing criminal cartel provisions of the Act, which will come into effect on June 23, 2023.

Continue Reading Canada’s New Competition Act Amendments and Private Competition Litigation: Compliance Tips for Businesses Operating in Canada

On June 23, 2022, Bill C-19, also known as the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No.1 (“BIA”), received royal assent. The BIA was tabled in Parliament on April 7, 2022 and included significant proposed amendments to the Competition Act (the “Act”).

Continue Reading Significant Amendments to Canada’s Competition Act Are Now Law: What You Need to Know

Recognizing the critical role of the Competition Act (the “Act”) in promoting dynamic and fair markets, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, announced on February 7, 2022 that he would carefully evaluate potential ways to improve its operation. This included, among other things, adapting the law to today’s digital reality to better tackle emerging forms of harmful behaviour in the digital economy; tackling wage-fixing agreements; modernizing the penalty regime to ensure that it serves as a genuine deterrent against harmful business conduct; more clearly addressing drip pricing; increasing access to justice for those injured by harmful conduct; and fixing loopholes that allow for harmful conduct. During an interview with the Toronto Star, the Minister suggested that this was the first step in a “comprehensive” review of the Act.

Continue Reading Significant Amendments to Competition Act Coming Soon

As discussed in more detail in our prior blog post titled “Competition Bureau Recommendations to Strengthen the Competition Act”, in a continuing effort to ensure that Canada has an effective and impactful competition law framework, Senator Howard Wetston invited interested stakeholders to participate in a consultation to promote additional dialogue on the path forward for Canadian competition law. As part of this consultation, Senator Wetston received comments from more than 25 stakeholders, including a detailed submission from the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”).

The Bureau’s submission includes 35 wide-ranging recommendations that, if implemented, would fundamentally reshape competition policy in Canada. To help businesses better understand the impact of these recommendations, we are releasing a series of blog posts discussing the recommendations on a topic-by-topic basis. This blog post is focussed on abuse of dominance.

Continue Reading Competition Bureau Recommendations Regarding Abuse of Dominance

As discussed in our prior blog post titled “Competition Tribunal Dismisses Request for Interim Interim Order”, the Competition Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) previously found that it does not have the power to grant “interim interim” relief pending its decision for “interim” relief. While the Tribunal’s decision was initially upheld following an emergency motion before a single judge of the Federal Court of Appeal (the “FCA”), the jurisdictional question before it was recently overturned following a hearing before a full panel of FCA judges. In particular, this panel of judges confirmed that the Tribunal has the jurisdiction to temporarily block mergers (i.e., grant “interim interim”) where the Commissioner meets certain evidentiary and legal burdens.

This blog post includes some relevant background information, discusses the FCA’s recent decision and summarizes the implications for businesses going forward.

Continue Reading Canada’s Competition Tribunal Has Jurisdiction to Grant “Interim Interim” Relief in the Contested Merger Context

As discussed in more detail in our prior blog post titled “Competition Bureau Recommendations to Strengthen the Competition Act”, in a continuing effort to ensure that Canada has an effective and impactful competition law framework, Senator Howard Wetston invited interested stakeholders to participate in a consultation to promote additional dialogue on the path forward for Canadian competition law. As part of this consultation, Senator Wetston received comments from more than 25 stakeholders, including a detailed submission from the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”).

Continue Reading Competition Bureau Recommendations Regarding Merger Review in Canada

Governments and competition agencies around the world, including those in Canada, the United States and Europe, are reviewing their competition policies to assess whether they are capable of addressing novel and complex issues arising in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing digital economy. These issues arise because the digital economy, unlike traditional markets, is often charactered by, among other things, platform-based business models, multi-sided markets, network effects, economies of scale, rapid technological change and disruptive innovation.

Continue Reading Competition Bureau Recommendations to Strengthen the Competition Act: Introduction

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (“ISED”), Francois-Philippe Champagne, made two important announcements on Monday morning in an exclusive interview with Toronto Star business reporter, Christine Dobby, and in a subsequent press release: (1) the Government of Canada (the “Government”) will engage in a broad review of the Competition Act (the “Act”) with a view to promoting dynamic and fair markets, and (2) the $93 million transaction-size threshold for pre-merger notification will not be increased this year – an unusual development following a year of GDP growth.

Continue Reading Upcoming Review of the Competition Act and Other Developments