Competition Policy Review Panel Releases Report
The Competition Policy Review Panel, chaired by L.R. Wilson, today provided its report to the Government of Canada, titled Compete to Win. The report puts forward a series of policy recommendations aimed at making Canada a more attractive destination for talent, investment and innovation, as well as a sweeping national Competitiveness Agenda based on the proposition that Canada’s standard of living and economic performance will be raised through more competition in Canada and from abroad. Greater competitive intensity in Canada will yield better products at lower prices, more jobs and higher earnings, stronger companies, and a stronger economy.
Joining Mr. Wilson on the Panel were N. Murray Edwards, Isabelle Hudon, P. Thomas Jenkins and Brian Levitt.
“The Panel believes that Canada needs to be more open to competition, as competition spurs the productivity enhancements that underpin our economic performance and ultimately our quality of life,” said Mr. Wilson. “With our Competitiveness Agenda we hope to seize the attention of Canadians from all walks of life, to develop a more competitive mindset in Canada, and to create the conditions in Canada for global economic success.”
Compete to Win is the result of a year of research and consultation, and is based on the objective of raising Canadians’ standard of living by improving the country’s economic performance. The report makes a number of specific policy recommendations to the federal government, and also calls for action by other levels of government, the business community, post-secondary educational institutions and individual Canadians to make Canada more competitive in the context of economic globalization.
Specific policy recommendations to the federal government include:
* Amending the Investment Canada Act to reduce barriers to foreign investment by increasing review thresholds; reversing the onus to require the government to demonstrate that an investment would be contrary to the national interest before disallowing a transaction; increasing transparency and predictability; and preserving a distinct approach for the cultural sector while also initiating a broad review of Canada’s cultural policies;
* Liberalizing investment restrictions in the Canadian air transport, uranium mining, and telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, and removing the de facto ban on mergers in the financial services sector;
* Updating and modernizing the Competition Act in line with best practices internationally;
* Creating a Canadian Competitiveness Council to give voice to and advocate for competition in Canada, and ensure sustained attention by governments on national competitiveness.
As part of the Panel’s national competitiveness agenda, Compete to Win also identifies a number of broad public policy priorities bearing on Canada’s competitiveness, and makes recommendations for action in these areas with the goal of making Canada a location of choice for global talent, capital and innovation.
These specific public policy priorities for action are:
* Attracting and developing talent;
* Head offices and cities;
* Fostering growth businesses;
* Strengthening the role of directors in mergers and acquisitions;
* The Canadian economic union;
* Canada-US economic ties;
* International trade and investment;
* Regulation; and,
* Innovation and intellectual property.
“One of our key findings is that Canada needs to get its act together as a nation,” said Mr. Wilson. “As governments, as businesses and as individuals we need to work better together and collaborate more effectively in the service of our national competitiveness. Competition is global, and the pace of economic activity will continue to accelerate. We must ensure that our policies and our mindset reflect global realities, and our national interest.”
Compete to Win was submitted today to the Minister of Industry, on behalf of the Government of Canada. The Competition Policy Review Panel was formed in July 2007 with a mandate to review Canada's competition and foreign investment policies, and make recommendations to the federal government for making Canada more globally competitive. The Panel conducted consultations, heard from Canadians and international experts, and commissioned research to inform its recommendations.