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Big changes to competition and foreign investment law and policy in Canada

Author(s): Shuli Rodal, Michelle Lally, Kaeleigh Kuzma, Christopher Naudie, Chelsea Rubin, Reba Nauth

Jan 11, 2023

Canada’s approach to competition and foreign investment law and policy underwent significant change in 2022.

In June, the most significant amendments to the Competition Act since 2009 were enacted. This was followed in November with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Minister) kicking off a full-scale review of the Competition Act with a public consultation process. The process is scheduled to close in early 2023. In 2022, we also saw a number of developments in competition litigation, including several rarely seen fully-contested merger cases.

Canadian foreign investment review also took centre stage in 2022, with a focus on investments in Canada that could be viewed as potentially injurious to Canada’s national security. In early 2022, the government announced that potential connections to the Russian state would provide reasonable grounds for the Minister to believe that a foreign investment could be injurious to Canada’s national security. In August, the government signaled its renewed scrutiny under the national security regime of investments for less than a control position, implementing a voluntary notification regime for non-controlling foreign investments. The government also extended the timeframe within which Cabinet may commence a national security review where no voluntary notification is made. In October, the government announced a policy discouraging investment in Canada’s critical minerals sector by foreign state-owned or state-influenced enterprises and ordered divestitures of three minority investments in the sector...

Read or listen to this Legal Year in Review 2022 article