The Canadian Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) has released a toolkit – Strengthening Canada’s economy through pro-competitive policies (the “Toolkit”) – to assist regulators and policymakers, at all levels of government, in maximizing competition in Canadian industries. The Toolkit offers a five-step process for policymakers to assess the impact of new and existing policies on competition, and tailor those policies to maximize the benefits of competition across the Canadian economy.
The Bureau suggests engaging in a competition assessment each time a new policy is proposed or an existing policy is reviewed. The Bureau’s five-step competition assessment process is summarized below:
Step 1: Identify the policy. The first step is to specify the underlying goals that the policy is designed to achieve and the proposed measures to achieve those goals.
Step 2: Assess whether the policy impacts competition. The second step involves an assessment of the impact of the proposed measures on competition, with reference to the following four indicators of a competitive marketplace:
- the ability of businesses to enter or expand in a market or operate across borders;
- the ability of businesses to set the price, quality and quantity of the products or services sold;
- the incentives for businesses to compete vigorously; and
- the potential for consumers to switch between competing businesses.