Modernization of Canadian competition law and foreign investment review is well underway. Recent and further proposed legislative amendments will impact how dealmakers assess substantial and procedural regulatory risk for mergers. This update summarizes the recent legislative amendments to the Competition Act (Act) that came into effect on 15 December 2023 and proposed legislative amendments to the Act and Investment Canada Act. Dealmakers should be aware of these amendments as they plan mergers involving Canadian businesses in 2024.
In 2023, the Government of Canada focused on modernizing Canada’s Competition Act and Investment Canada Act, proposing legislation that will overhaul existing legislative frameworks. Looking forward, we expect the Government will continue its modernization agenda and the respective authorities will continue to take strong enforcement positions against perceived anti-competitive conduct and investments that raise potential national security concerns in 2024.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has recently provided public comments to industry professionals concerning its enforcement plans related to the importation of goods suspected to be mined, manufactured, or produced with forced or child labor.
Canada implemented an import prohibition on goods mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labor as of 1 July 2020, when Parliament amended the Customs Tariff (tariff item no. 9897.00.00) to reflect Canada’s new obligations under the USMCA (Article 23.6: Forced or Compulsory Labor).
Through the Canadian Labour and Employment Law blog, our lawyers provide legal updates and practical insights to help clients understand, prepare for and respond to the latest domestic and cross-border Labour and Employment issues affecting Canadian and multinational employers.
2023 has proven to be another dynamic year under the Government of Canada’s trade agenda, which showed no signs of slowing over the summer. From May to August 2023, the Government passed into law novel supply chain transparency legislation and introduced amendments and legislative proposals that are impacting, or will impact, compliance with Canadian customs, export controls, and economic sanctions legislation.
Watch the companion videos highlighting our compliance tips in relation to developments in Canadian customs, sanctions, export controls, and forced labor laws.
On 21 September 2023, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-56 or the Affordable Housing and Groceries Act (“Bill C-56”), broad legislation that includes amendments to the Competition Act that, if adopted, will repeal the efficiencies defense in mergers, expand the scope of agreements and arrangements subject to the civil competitor collaboration provision, and permit public interest market studies. The proposed amendments to the Competition Act align with the Prime Minister’s recent announcement that the federal government would take action to enhance competition and drive down prices for Canadians, with a special focus on the grocery sector.
Baker McKenzie’s Sanctions Blog published the alert titled Canada continues to amend sanctions legislation in relation to Iran, Belarus, Russia and designates Lebanese nationals under Magnitsky law on 30 August 2023. Read the article via the link here. Please also visit our Sanctions Blog for the most recent updates.
Bill C-47 is the Federal Budget Implementation Act – Part 1, an omnibus bill which amends existing legislation to meet the Government’s 2023 Budget objectives. Division 10 of the bill implements significant amendments to Canada’s unilateral sanctions legislation.