Photo of Douglas C. New

Former Chair of the firm’s Antitrust/Competition & Marketing Group, Douglas New carries on an active regulatory law practice which includes providing specialized advice to domestic and foreign clients on matters of national security and pre-merger regulatory clearances under legislation such as the Competition ActBank ActInsurance Companies ActInvestment Canada Act and Canada Transportation Act.

On March 4, 2024, while attending the 2024 Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s annual convention, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry[1], François-Philippe Champagne, received a question about Québec-based SRG Mining Inc.’s (“SRG”) proposed plan to redomicile to the United Arab Emirates after agreeing to sell 19.4 percent of the company to China-based Carbon ONE New Energy Group Co., Ltd. (“Carbon One”).

Despite SRG’s belief that redomiciling would obviate the need to obtain the Government of Canada’s approval of the proposed deal, Minister Champagne reacted by stating that Canada would challenge the proposed avoidance of the Government of Canada’s review: “It’s never smart to try to circumvent the rules…[The federal government is prepared to use] every tool at our disposal [to make sure Canadian law is respected].

Shortly after Minister Champagne’s comments, SRG announced that it was no longer proceeding with the Carbon One transaction.Continue Reading Canada Threatens to Challenge SRG Proposed Redomiciling Plan Removing the Need for Investment Canada Review

On March 22, 2024, Bill C-34 received royal assent, becoming the National Security Review of Investments Modernization Act. First introduced in the House of Commons by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (the “Minister”) on December 7, 2022, the National Security Review of Investments Modernization Act represents the most significant amendment to the Investment Canada Act (the “ICA”) since the introduction of national security provisions in 2009. Notably, the new legislation:

  • Creates a suspensory pre-closing filing requirement and waiting period for investments in certain (yet-to-be) prescribed sensitive sectors, such as the interactive digital media sector and the critical minerals sector, for instance;
  • Creates a new authority for the Minister to initiate national security reviews under section 25.3 of the ICA and to accept undertakings to mitigate national security risk (previously, the authority for both of the foregoing rested with the Cabinet of Canada); and
  • Increases the maximum penalty for non-compliance with the ICA to $25,000 for each day of contravention, up from $10,000.

Continue Reading The National Security Review of Investments Modernization Act Receives Royal Assent

On March 1, 2024, the Government of Canada unveiled two new foreign investment policies relating to the interactive digital media sector: one relating to national security reviews and the other to cultural investment reviews.

The policies define “interactive digital media” (“IDM”) as, without limitation, “digital content and/or an environment in which users can actively participate or that facilitates collaborative participation among multiple users for the purposes of entertainment, information or education, and commonly delivered via the Internet, mobile networks, gaming consoles or media storage devices.”Continue Reading Canada to Subject Interactive Digital Media Investments to Enhanced Scrutiny

On September 28, 2023, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (“INDU”) – the committee tasked with studying the legislation and activities of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – concluded its study of Bill C-34: An Act to amend the Investment Canada Act and reported its proposed amendments to the House of Commons.Continue Reading Update on proposed amendments to the Investment Canada Act

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne (the “Minister”), announced on December 7, 2022 his commitment to protecting Canada’s economic and national security. Focused on key sectors such as critical minerals and artificial intelligence, the Minister tabled Bill C-34, the National Security Review of Investments Modernizations Act, (“Bill C-34”) which significantly amends the Investment Canada Act (the “Act”) for the first time since national security provisions were introduced in 2009. Bill C-34 is directed at modernizing the Act to better guard  against economic-based security threats that may arise from foreign investment and streamlining the existing national security review process. The amendments aim to enhance transparency, support greater investor certainty, improve Canada’s visibility on investments, and ensure that Canada is prepared to take action quickly where required.
Continue Reading Canada Announces Significant National Security Changes to Investment Canada Act

On October 28, 2022, the Director of Investments issued his Annual Report on the administration of the Investment Canada Act (“ICA”) for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 2021 and ending March 31, 2022 (the “2021/2022 fiscal year”). The Annual Report provides insight on key trends relating to foreign investment and national security reviews in Canada.
Continue Reading Canada Lays out Direct Path to National Security Review for SOE-implicated Investments in Critical Mineral Sector

On August 2, 2022, amendments to the National Security Review of Investments Regulations will come into force, creating a voluntary filing mechanism for investors who do not currently have a filing obligation under the Investment Canada Act (the “Act”). These amendments will also extend the initial national security review period from 45 days to five years for all investments by non-Canadians who choose not to make a filing.

The federal government first proposed these amendments in the Canada Gazette on February 12, 2022. The amendments as posted in the Canadian Gazette on June 3, 2022 are unchanged from the February proposal, aside from the coming into force date.Continue Reading Canada to Permit Voluntary Filings Under National Security Provisions of Its Investment Canada Act

On February 12, 2022, the federal government proposed, in the Canada Gazette, amendments to the National Security Review of Investments Regulations (the “Regulations”). The Regulations set out the timelines of the national security review process under the Investment Canada Act (the “Act”). If ratified, the proposed amendments would create a voluntary filing mechanism for investors that do not currently have a filing obligation under the Act, and would extend the initial national security review period from 45 days to 5 years for all investments by non-Canadians that do not make a filing. Investors who choose to submit a voluntary filing will, within 45 days from the certification date of their filing, know whether the Government of Canada intends to challenge their investment. The proposed amendments will benefit businesses contemplating an investment in Canada by creating an option to achieve regulatory certainty pre-implementation.
Continue Reading Canada Proposes to Permit Voluntary Filings under National Security Provisions of its Investment Canada Act

On February 2nd, 2022, the Director of Investments issued his annual report on the administration of the Investment Canada Act (“ICA”) for the fiscal year commencing April 1, 2020 and ending March 31, 2021. The Annual Report provides insight on key trends relating to foreign investment and national security reviews in Canada.

During the period covered by the Annual Report, a total of 826 filings were certified under the ICA, representing a 20% decrease from the 1,032 filings made in the previous year. Most notably, the number of applications for review (required in the case of high-value foreign acquisitions) dropped by 67% over the prior period.Continue Reading Investment Canada Act: 2020/21 Annual Report

Competition, marketing and foreign investment law saw a number of changes in the past year. Many of these changes were in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly changed the way Canadians, businesses and government agencies operate. Despite the pandemic, the Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) has actively continued its enforcement activity and provided a number of guidance documents to help businesses stay onside the Competition Act (the “Act”). Similarly, Canada’s Investment Review Division (“IRD”) of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (“ISED”) has also responded to the challenges resulting from the pandemic.
Continue Reading Fasken’s Forecast for 2022 and Beyond: 2021’s Top 10 Trends in Canadian Competition, Marketing & Foreign Investment Law and what Businesses should expect in 2022