2023-2024 Annual Plan: Driving competition forward for all Canadians

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April 17, 2023

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Message from the Commissioner

I’m happy to present the Competition Bureau’s Annual Plan for 2023-2024, which comes at a crucial time for Canadians. As we deal with the highest cost-of-living increases seen in a generation, Canadians can plainly see the relationship between a lack of competition and climbing prices. The Bureau’s role is to protect and promote competition, and we take that seriously. We will do everything in our power to foster competition so that Canadians can benefit from lower prices, higher quality, and more choice. Competition is not a cure-all, but it does play an important role in maintaining the affordability of goods and services.

So in 2023-2024, we will continue to prioritize three major objectives:

  • Protecting Canadians through enforcement action
  • Promoting competition in Canada
  • Investing in our organization

On the enforcement side, this year, we will operate with heightened vigilance in areas that will have the greatest impact on the affordability of daily life for Canadians. We will work closely with our partners to protect and promote competitive markets. We will continue to build capacity to take timely and evidence-based action in both traditional and digital marketplaces. And, we’ll use the expertise within our Digital Enforcement and Intelligence Branch to do this work better and more efficiently.

On the advocacy side, we will promote competition in sectors that matter most to Canadians. We’ll publish findings from our Retail Grocery Market Study, and recommend measures to improve competition in the sector. And, we’ll support the Government of Canada’s review and update of the Competition Act to modernize our laws and policies. Competition is a key pillar of our economy, and we must ensure that our competition law and policy are fit for purpose in the modern economy.

And, internally, we’ll continue to invest in our people. We’re committed to giving staff opportunities to develop the skills needed to deliver on our commitments in the digital era. We’re getting more diverse, and more accessible, so that it’s easier for Canadians to access Bureau tools and resources and understand what we do. We hope that this will empower more Canadians to participate confidently in Canada’s diverse economy.

With these targeted priorities, laser-focused on what matters to Canadians, the Bureau will continue to protect and promote competition for the benefit of all Canadians, today and in the future.

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 2023-2024

  • Use all of the tools at our disposal to prevent, detect and address anti-competitive activity. Apply inclusive competition principles to ensure that we are doing this work on behalf of all Canadians.
    • Continue to focus on key sectors of the economy that we identified in our 2020-2024 Strategic Vision.
    • Target anti-competitive conduct that makes everyday life less affordable for Canadians.
    • Be ready to bring cases to court and to use the tools that allow the courts to stop anti-competitive activity as quickly as possible.
    • Work to ensure the merger program is properly funded for the future, so that we can allow transactions that benefit the Canadian economy to proceed without delay or take action to prevent anti-competitive harm.
    • Use the expertise of the Digital Enforcement and Intelligence Branch to strengthen the Bureau’s work at every stage of investigation.

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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 2023-2024

  • Encourage policy makers and regulators to adopt pro-competitive policies that drive Canada's inclusive economic growth.
    • Actively support the Government of Canada’s review and update of the Competition Act to modernize competition laws and policies.
    • Advocate for pro-competitive policies at all levels of government and improve awareness of the Competition Assessment Toolkit and encouraging policymakers to prioritize competition in their everyday work.
    • Host a Summit focused on strengthening Canada’s economy through pro-competitive policies at all levels of government.
  • Advocate for increased competition in sectors that matter to Canadians now.
  • Create and deepen international and domestic relationships.
    • Continue to be a leader in international organizations and networks, including by advancing the application of plain language and inclusive competition policy on the global stage.
    • Pursue new collaboration tools and frameworks with international and domestic partners to improve detection and enforcement, identify best practices, and share intelligence, particularly with respect to digital enforcement.
  • Expand our outreach and promotion efforts to reach a broader, more diverse audience of Canadian consumers and businesses.
    • Help Canadians protect themselves from illegal conduct through general awareness efforts like Fraud Prevention Month, and the Compliance Bootcamp, as well as targeted communications including consumer and business alerts and podcasts.
    • Expand the reach of our bid-rigging awareness work with government partners to make it available to those responsible for procurement at all levels of government across the country.
    • Increase the number of our resources available in plain language, and continue to use a variety of communications tools to share our messages.
    • Promote compliance by developing our resources and guidance on new and amended provisions of the Competition Act.

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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 2023-2024

  • Place employee health and safety at the forefront to help support diversity, innovation and teamwork.
    • Continue to build a culture of wellbeing through formal training, learning and wellness initiatives to support the physical and mental health of employees.
    • Continue to evolve in how we do our work so that we are inclusive and accessible while we align with hybrid work environment requirements.
  • Achieve greater reconciliation, equity, accessibility, diversity, and inclusion across our organization.
    • Use the tools we have developed to work to address and surpass all representation gaps across our organization to better reflect and benefit from the diversity of the Canadian population.
    • Promote and measure reconciliation, equity, accessibility, diversity and inclusion, including with respect to Official Languages, so we can retain and fully benefit from organizational diversity.
    • Integrate these ideas into our competition promotion and enforcement so that we serve Canadians in a more inclusive way.
  • Ensure that our capabilities and skills keep pace with new business practices, enforcement and technology.
    • Work to provide specialized training linked to priorities and skill gaps to meet the individual and professional development needs of employees. Further enhance employee professional development by connecting them with experts in our field.
    • Continue to modernize our processes to a completely cloud-based environment, so that our technical capability will enhance our security and efficiency.
  • Modernize our systems and procedures to support innovation and alignment with the digital age.
    • Bring together diverse backgrounds and expertise from across the organization to collaborate and discover new solutions.
    • Continue to introduce and develop tools and skills aligned with organizational priorities.