5 Small things to keep in mind for July 8th, 2022
1) The Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project Launch Event
Block your calendars! The Canadian Anti-Monopoly inaugural launch event is being planned for the week of August 8th 2022.
We’re looking to share our vision and goals for CAMP, and have a panel of speakers talking about their anti-monopoly journey and what they’ve learned through building their organization.
Stay tuned for more details and to get the registration link!
2) Can Competition Policy address Inflation?
Robin and Keldon, the other co-founders of the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project, wrote about how the Competition Bureau can step up and address inflation .They found approximately 26% of the total inflation we are experiencing can be attributed to market power of dominant firms. Basically, the Competition Bureau needs to stop the anti-competitive behaviours and prevent people from obtaining market power moving forward.
3) Speaking of Dominant Firms...
Vass Bednar wrote an op-ed in the Financial Post, and expanded on in it her newsletter, about how the US, the EU and the UK competition enforcement agencies are all investigating Amazon while the Canadian Competition Bureau doesn’t appear to be. She again highlights the need for the Canadian Competition Bureau to have the power to compel information to complete market studies. She also asks why we can’t use research developed in other jurisdictions.
4) Experts call for expert panel to expertly recommend expert changes that definitely won't benefit only those experts.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has called for the upcoming review of the Competition Act to be completed by an “…arms-length expert panel to develop recommendations on potential changes to the Competition Act.” They referenced the “Wilson Panel” which led the last review of the Competition Act in 2008.
The “Wilson Panel” consisted of:
- Lynton Wilson - former CEO of Bell Canada and former Board Chair for Nortel
- Murray Edwards - co-owner of the Calgary Flames and Board Chair for Canadian Natural Resources
- Thomas Jenkins - Board Chair for OpenText Corporation, former board member of Manulife Financial Corporation, Thomas Reuters Inc and Transalta
- Isabelle Hudon - former Executive Chari for Sun Life Financial, current CEO and President of BDC
- Brian Levitt - Current Board Chair for TD Bank
The Wilson Panel was dominated by Big Business interests, and subsequently made a lot of recommendations that benefited big business - like lowering the merger review threshold from 3 years to 1 year.
I shake my head when I see the Chamber of Commerce making a request for another panel like that. We know that none of us would be on that panel, and our opinions would not truly be heard.
In fact I read the current request from the Chamber of Commerce exactly like if my daughter asked for “an independent panel comprising of neighborhood kids to determine bedtimes for the neighborhood kids.”
There is no way my wife or I, or any of the parents in the neighborhood would agree to that. That should apply to this expert panel. An independent panel consisting of business leaders only can not happen again.
5) June 11th was Davis Day in Glace Bay, NS
I forgot to include a reference to this in any of my June newsletters. I want to include this up as an example of what can happen when corporations amass too much power.
Davis Day is a day to remember coal miner William Davis who was killed by the Company Police Force in the Coal mine strikes of 1925. This happened before the military was brought in to deal with the strike.
A quick recap, from Saltwire:
My Grandmother was from Glace Bay, and she would have been about 5 years old when William Davis was killed. This wasn’t that long ago. Sydney, Glace Bay and parts of Cape Breton still today have a strong Union mindset, and you really can’t blame them.
Read this Maclean’s article about Glace Bay, NS.
Finally I'll ask the Men of the Deeps to sing us out...