Letter to the Office of Red Tape Reduction and Small Business

Maud Murray, Deputy Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction
7th Flr, 56 Wellesley St W,
Toronto, ON M5S 2S3

July 27, 2022

Re: Cutting red tape and encouraging pro-competitive policies

Dear Deputy Minister Murray:

As the Canadian economy navigates a period of inflation, competitive markets are critical to keeping prices in check. A regulatory environment that encourages competition – where newcomers can grow and challenge incumbents – is key to ensuring a growing, innovative economy while helping address the rising cost of living.

The Competition Bureau (Bureau) is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. As part of its mandate, the Bureau promotes and advocates for the benefits of competitionFootnote 1 based on the guiding principle that competition is the best way to improve choice, lower prices and foster innovation.

By cutting red tape and allowing businesses to more easily enter and expand in the marketplace, healthy competition can fight against inflation.Footnote 2 On the other hand, policies that restrict competition – hampering the entry and expansion of businesses – can undermine competitive intensity vital to driving innovation and productivity.

The Bureau supports steps to reduce regulatory red tape. Regulations typically exist to achieve legitimate policy objectives.Footnote 3 However, governments must be careful to ensure that policies are tailored appropriately to maximize the benefits of competition to the economy while still achieving their policy objectives.Footnote 4  More competition empowers consumers and drives businesses to become more productive, improve product quality, and decrease prices.

To support Ontario’s red tape reduction efforts and to assist policymakers at all levels of government in assessing the competition impact of any regulations, the Bureau has developed a Competition Assessment ToolkitFootnote 5. This toolkit is based on the Bureau’s experience and international best practices. It is designed as a step-by-step guide to assess the competition impact of new and existing policies and to tailor policies appropriately to maximize the benefits of competition to the economy. The Bureau encourages the Government of Ontario to consider the five-step process outlined in the Toolkit, and to take competition issues into consideration as it conducts its review.

We appreciate this opportunity to provide our comments for your consideration.  We would be pleased to meet with your officials in the relevant teams if they would like to discuss our Toolkit and its potential for strengthening competition.

Yours truly,

Anthony Durocher
Deputy Commissioner of Competition
Competition Promotion Branch