August 28, 2020
On this page:
Mr. Amarjot Sandhu
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
Room 1405, Whitney Block
Queen's Park, Toronto, ON M7A 1A2
Empowering Small and Medium Enterprises through Pro‑Competitive Policies
Competition underpins a productive, innovative and resilient economy. Policies that support competition can accelerate Canada's post-pandemic economic recovery by stimulating entry by new businesses, productivity and innovation.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of a dynamic and resilient economy. They create jobs, bring innovative products and ideas to the market, and put pressure on larger businesses to remain competitive. Pro-competitive policies support the ongoing participation of SMEs in the marketplace and promote dynamism and competitiveness in the Canadian economy.
The Competition Bureau (Bureau), as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. 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 spur innovation.
The COVID‑19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on SMEs.Footnote 2 Pro-competitive policies that minimize barriers to entry and expansion for SMEs are vital to stimulating economic growth, innovation and job creation. Following an economic downturn, markets in which businesses can easily enter and expand are likely to recover the fastest. Obstacles that make it more difficult for businesses to enter or expand in a market diminish competitive intensity and slow growth.
The Bureau applauds the important steps the Government of Ontario is taking to identify and reduce barriers to entry and expansion for SMEs, such as the Red Tape Challenge. To support such efforts, and to assist policymakers at all levels of government in assessing the competition impact of policymaking as we look towards Canada's post-crisis recovery and beyond, the Bureau has developed a Competition Assessment Toolkit (Toolkit), based on the Bureau's experience and international best practices.
The Toolkit, appended to this letter, provides 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 six-step process outlined in the Toolkit, and to take competition issues into consideration as it conducts its review.