After 37 long years, our government is finally considering making significant reforms to the Competition Act. Fixing our Competition Act, AKA Canada’s broken laws that set the rules for companies who compete in our markets, is our BEST chance to finally end the dominance of Rogers, Bell, Ticketmaster, Loblaws, RBC, and many more monopoly powers in Canada. A government consultation seeking YOUR input just opened up — but it's an opportunity we might not see again for decades.1
Our current Competition Act has turned Canada into a free-for-all for monopolies.
Under this flimsy legislation, Canada has NEVER successfully blocked two giant companies from merging.2 Weaknesses and loopholes in the Act let mergers and buyouts move forward in spite of hurting competition and affordability, and severely limit the powers of the Competition Bureau to take any meaningful action to hold monopolies accountable for abusing their dominance in the market.3
Rather than helping us fight monopolies, our Competition Act is helping giants like Big Telecom take advantage of us and making Canada’s markets some of the least competitive in the world.4
And it couldn't be happening at a worse time for people in Canada. From sky-high cell phone and Internet prices, to unaffordable housing, to disturbingly high price tags at the grocery store, it feels like our economy is failing us. There’s no one-size-fits-all fix, but a lot of these issues come down to our lack of competition.
When markets have multiple companies all competing for customers, prices stay low, small businesses flourish, and companies are encouraged to innovate.5,6
But without real competition, the biggest companies can throw their weight around to charge us some of the highest prices in the world for things like Internet and cell phone connectivity.7,8 It means the massive power of monopolies can go completely unchecked, like when Big Grocery was scheming together to jack up bread prices, or when Ticketmaster’s monopoly over concert tickets recently led to extremely long website queues, canceled public sales, and thousands of angry fans (Taylor Swift, anyone?).9,10
Our lack of competition means that companies are gouging us for all they can get. But make no mistake: right now is our BEST opportunity to smash these oversized giants and put the power back in the hands of everyday people.
What can I do?
Sign your name to endorse the Anti-Monopoly Charter — a set of core principles demanding a competitive, fair, and affordable Canada. OpenMedia will submit your signatures alongside the Charter to the government’s open consultation on reforming Canada's Competition Act before the February 27, 2023 deadline. We might not get another opportunity like this to transform competition in Canada for another half-century — so we MUST make it count.
If you’re up for it, you can also participate directly in the government’s consultation by visiting this link. Be warned: the consultation’s webform is lengthy, not user-friendly, and cluttered with technical language. While sharing your input on the future of the Competition Act directly with the government is always an option to make your voice heard, use their form at your own risk!