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The Canadian Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) has announced a significant initiative to explore the impacts of artificial intelligence (“AI”) on competition in Canada. On 20 March 2024, the Bureau published a discussion paper, entitled “Artificial intelligence and competition”, and has requested feedback from the public. The outcome of the consultation may have significant implications for both businesses that develop and those that use AI technologies.

On March 7, 2024, Public Safety Canada updated its Guidance on the application of Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (Supply Chains Act). Businesses operating in Canada are encouraged to review the key changes summarized below to confirm that their assessment of reporting obligations continue to align with Public Safety Canada’s Guidance. The deadline for submitting reports under the Supply Chains Act is 31 May 2024.

The Canadian Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) has announced a significant initiative to explore the effects of artificial intelligence (“AI”) on competition in Canada. On 20 March 2024, the Bureau published a discussion paper, entitled “Artificial intelligence and competition” (“Discussion Paper”), and has requested feedback from the public. The Bureau is seeking to better understand how AI can affect competition in Canada. Submissions are due by 4 May 2024.

In January 2024, the Canadian Securities Administrators published amendments and changes to several national instruments and companion policies to implement a new non-mandatory access model for preliminary and final prospectuses of non-investment fund reporting issuers. The access model is not available for rights offerings, medium term note programs and other continuous distributions under a shelf prospectus. The amendments are effective 16 April 2024.

Quebec’s Bill 96 significantly expanded existing French language requirements under Quebec’s Charter of the French language, including new translation requirements for a wide range of employment documents. Similarly, the treatment of commercial standard form contracts (or contracts of adhesion) must now be translated into French first, even if the parties agree to proceed in a language other than French, such as English. 

The Government of Canada has announced the 2024 financial thresholds for pre-merger notification and clearance under the Competition Act, and for pre-closing, “net benefit” review and approval under the Investment Canada Act (“ICA”). While the Competition Act “size of transaction” financial threshold remains the same, the ICA financial thresholds have increased. Significantly, this is the third year in a row that the Competition Act financial threshold has remained unchanged at CAD 93 million in a bid to maintain the number of transactions subject to review by the Commissioner of Competition.

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.

Earlier this year, Canada’s mandatory reporting rules were broadly expanded by lowering the thresholds to trigger a reporting obligation and increasing the information that must be reported to the Canada Revenue Agency As a result, taxpayers may be required to flag certain mergers and acquisitions transactions in real time if it could be reasonably concluded that one of the main purposes of entering into the transaction was to obtain a tax benefit.

In this In Focus video, our Canadian Tax and Corporate Transactions lawyers discuss how common contractual protection clauses could trigger an early reporting requirement and expose taxpayers to significant penalties if they fail to report.

In June 2019, the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) was amended to require private CBCA corporations to prepare and maintain a register of “individuals with significant control” (the “ISC Register“).
There have been two key changes since this requirement was first introduced:

  1. In May 2023, regulations were published to exempt additional corporations from having to prepare and maintain an ISC Register and to provide further compliance guidance.
  2. Amendments to the CBCA have been enacted imposing, amongst other things, the requirement to publicly file certain information contained in the ISC Register with Corporations Canada and to increase penalties for non compliance.