2022-2023 Annual Plan: Competition, recovery and growth

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April 4, 2022

Table of contents

Message from the Commissioner

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, competition has never been more important to the prosperity of all Canadians.

In 2021, the Government of Canada committed to increasing the Competition Bureau’s budget by $96 million over five years, and $27.5 million ongoing thereafter, to enhance the Bureau’s enforcement capacity and ensure it is equipped with the necessary digital tools for today’s economy.

This year, the Competition Bureau will strengthen its ability to protect and promote competitive markets. As we continue to recover from the significant economic impact of the pandemic, competitive markets are needed to deliver low prices, more choice and increased innovation for Canadians. To that end, our priorities for the 2022-2023 year are targeted squarely on taking enforcement action and promoting competition in areas that will have the biggest impact on Canadians during this period of recovery and growth.

On the enforcement side, we will leverage a new branch to support our investigations and intelligence gathering in the digital age. We will continue to ensure that our enforcement efforts address the remaining challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as anti-competitive conduct related to supply chain issues and deceptive claims about support benefits. We will also focus on sectors of the economy that are vital to Canada’s long-term economic well-being, such as digital services, health, infrastructure, telecommunications and natural resources.

In addition to its core enforcement work, the Competition Bureau is dedicated to promoting competitive markets in Canada. This year, we will continue to encourage pro-competitive laws, regulations and policies. This includes supporting the Government of Canada’s review and update of the Competition Act. The Bureau will also hold a Summit focused on the role of competition policy and enforcement in the green economy.  This Summit will be a chance for the Bureau to gather insight and better understand the challenges and opportunities with respect to the interplay between competition and the green economy.

We will also continue to recognize the importance of, and work toward, greater diversity in our organization. We will take steps to promote an inclusive and accessible workplace necessary to support and benefit from that diversity. We will also make our work more accessible to Canadians to support inclusive economic growth. By communicating more plainly—in a way that everyone can understand—we will better inform all Canadian consumers and businesses, empowering them to participate confidently in Canada’s diverse economy.

With our expanded resources, and a sharp focus on economic recovery and competitive markets, the Bureau will be even better positioned to deliver the benefits of competition to Canadians.

Matthew Boswell
Commissioner of Competition

Protecting Canadians through enforcement action

2020-2024 Strategic Vision objectives

  • Take timely action on matters that are important to Canadians using all the tools at our disposal
  • Increase proactive enforcement in order to address anti-competitive activity across Canada
  • Be a leader in the gathering, processing and analyzing of data and digital evidence

What we will do in 2022-2023

  • Use all of the tools at our disposal to address anti-competitive activity
    • Focus on the sectors of the economy that are important to Canada’s inclusive economic recovery and long-term economic well-being. These include:
      • digital services,
      • health,
      • construction and infrastructure,
      • telecommunications, and
      • natural resources and agri-food.
    • Target anti-competitive conduct and deceptive claims about COVID-19 and Canada’s recovery efforts, including support benefits and supply chain issues
    • Enhance our litigation readiness for not only fully-contested proceedings, but also for seeking court orders, such as injunctions, pending a full hearing or decision from the Competition Tribunal
    • Review of merger filing fees under the Service Fees Act to ensure that the Bureau can continue to effectively and efficiently review mergers
    • Establish a new digital and data analytics team to enhance our enforcement capabilities
  • Advance proactive enforcement by expanding our intelligence generating efforts and examining trends in the marketplace
    • Increase our proactive intelligence work to more rapidly identify anti-competitive and deceptive business activities in the marketplace
    • Continue to build our understanding of new technology and business practices that may impact competitive markets

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Promoting competition in Canada

2020-2024 Strategic Vision objectives

  • Seize opportunities to encourage competition and innovation in areas that matter to Canadians
  • Play a leadership role, both domestically and internationally, in adapting to the impact of the digital economy on competition policy
  • Build awareness of consumer and competition issues through enhanced communication, outreach and engagement

What we will do in 2022-2023

  • Encourage policy makers and regulators to adopt pro-competitive policies that drive Canada's inclusive economic growth
    • Actively participate in competition policy modernization efforts
    • Advocate for pro-competitive policies at all levels of government and improve awareness of the Competition Assessment Toolkit
    • Host a Summit focused on the role of competition policy and enforcement in the green economy
  • Advocate for increased competition in sectors that matter to Canadians
    • Publish results of the Digital Health Care Market Study, to support digital health care in Canada
    • Begin examining how data mobility can support greater competition in the digital age
    • Examine the state of competition in Canada through measuring competitive intensity across different sectors of the Canadian economy
  • Continue to deepen international and domestic relationships
    • Play a leadership role in international organizations and networks. This includes assisting with research on gender considerations in competition policy and applying findings to our work
    • Examine new collaboration tools and frameworks with international and domestic partners to enhance enforcement, identify best practices, and share intelligence
  • Expand our outreach and promotion efforts to reach a broader, more diverse audience

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Investing in our organization

2020-2024 Strategic Vision objectives

  • Support continuous learning and development of our people while encouraging a culture of well-being
  • Modernize our processes and technology to work more effectively and keep pace with the digital economy
  • Recruit from diverse educational and professional backgrounds to ensure that our teams benefit from wide-reaching expertise and varying perspectives

What we will do in 2022-2023

  • Continue to place employee health and safety at the forefront
    • Continue to build a culture of wellbeing by putting the physical and mental health and safety of our employees first
    • Make changes to how we work so that we are inclusive and accessible, and support a flexible work environment wherever possible
  • Achieve greater diversity, inclusion and accessibility across our organization
    • Continue working to address and surpass all representation gaps across our organization to better reflect and benefit from the diversity of the Canadian population
    • Along with efforts to improve representation, work to ensure our organization is truly inclusive, including with respect to Official Languages, so that we can retain and fully benefit from our diversity
    • Continue to enhance our application of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) by building awareness, knowledge and skills. Develop and provide tools and resources, so that GBA+ can strengthen the Bureau’s work
    • Continue our work towards being fully compliant with the Accessible Canada Act and operating in an accessible way for employees and Canadians
  • Continue to ensure that our capabilities and skills keep pace with new business practices and technology
    • Implement new training programs based on evolving needs of employees
    • Conduct software updates to ensure that officers have the right technology to work more efficiently
    • Support ISED’s workplace modernization and government technological modernization strategy
    • Build our capacity to use data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence techniques in our enforcement and promotion work
  • Continue to modernize our systems and procedures to align with the digital age
    • Continue to foster a culture of innovation across the Bureau in all our work
    • Continue to adapt our policies and procedures for the tools we use and how we do our enforcement work