2021-2022 Annual Plan: Supporting economic recovery through competition

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April 1, 2021

Table of contents

Message from the Commissioner

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the lives of Canadians. Looking to the year ahead, we see opportunities to protect and empower consumers, and support Canada's economic recovery. As Canada's competition authority, we will continue to protect Canadian consumers and businesses from anti-competitive and deceptive marketing activity.

Our core enforcement work is essential to Canada's economic recovery, and we will continue to focus on sectors that matter most to Canadians. This includes the digital economy, telecommunications, health care, and infrastructure. We will also move towards more proactive enforcement by growing our intelligence-gathering efforts.

We will continue to advocate for the benefits of competition in Canada. We will encourage pro-competitive policies at all levels of government to help drive Canada's economic recovery. This will include hosting an international summit focussed on the role of competition to drive economic growth, and continuing the Digital Health Care Market Study and our advocacy efforts on telecommunications matters.

None of these goals are possible without a strong focus on the people and different perspectives that make up the Bureau. We are actively working toward greater diversity, inclusion and accessibility across the organization. We are also modernizing our systems and procedures to ensure employees have the necessary tools and technology to deliver on our mandate for all Canadians in the digital era.

The year ahead is about putting our resources to work where Canadians need them most in the wake of the pandemic. With our continued dedication, we will foster a culture of competition in Canada, and build a better future for all Canadians.

Matthew Boswell
Commissioner of Competition

Protecting Canadians through enforcement action

2020-2024 Strategic Vision objectives: Protecting Canadians through enforcement action

  • 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 2021-2022

  • Use all of the tools at our disposal to address anti-competitive activity, mergers and deceptive conduct in a timely manner
    • Focus on key sectors of the economy, such as digital services, telecommunications, health, online marketing, and infrastructure
    • Target anti-competitive conduct and deceptive claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
    • Apply evidentiary rigor in assessing failing firm claims in the context of merger reviews
  • Advance proactive enforcement by expanding our intelligence-gathering efforts and examining trends in the marketplace
    • Use public procurement datasets and statistical screens to detect potential bid-rigging; and
    • Continue to advance our technology, software and investigative techniques to identify and address anti-competitive conduct
  • Leverage technology, including artificial intelligence, algorithms and cloud-based tools, to support our enforcement work

Promoting competition in Canada

2020-2024 Strategic Vision objectives: Promoting competition in Canada

  • 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 2021-2022

  • Encourage policymakers and regulators to adopt pro-competitive policies that drive Canada's economic growth
    • Build awareness of the Competition Assessment Toolkit at all levels of government; and
    • Host a summit focused on the role of competition to drive economic growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Advocate for increased competition in sectors that matter to Canadians
    • Continue the Digital Health Care Market Study, which aims to support digital health care in Canada through procompetitive policies; and
    • Participate in the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's upcoming review of Canada's wholesale wireline industry
  • Deepen international and domestic relationships
    • Continue our role as President of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network; and
    • Play a leadership role in international fora, including by advancing work on gender considerations in competition policy
  • Expand our outreach and promotion efforts

Investing in our organization

2020-2024 Strategic Vision objectives: Investing in our organization

  • 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 2021-2022

  • Ensure that we maintain a culture of well-being by putting the health and safety of our employees first
  • Achieve greater diversity, inclusion and accessibility across our organization
    • Increase representation across our organization to better reflect and benefit from the diversity of the Canadian population
    • Enhance our application of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) across the Bureau's work; and
    • Ensure that we operate in an accessible way for employees and Canadians
  • Leverage the Digital Enforcement Office and build capacity across the organization to ensure we have the necessary skills and competencies to deliver on our work in the digital era
  • Continue to modernize our systems and procedures to align with advances in the digital economy
    • Expand our communities of practice, the Bureau's Innovation Garage and other initiatives; and
    • Continue to strengthen our policies and procedures surrounding our data governance