Canada’s monopoly problem is bad and getting worse. In 2019, three telecom companies controlled 91% of the mobile phones and Internet services market, six banks held 80% of the total assets in that industry, and five grocery stores accounted for 80% of grocery sales in Canada.1,2,3 The situation worsened in 2023 when Minister Champagne approved the Rogers-Shaw merger, solidifying Rogers' position as the reigning Internet giant in Canada.4
We got here for a reason. Weaknesses and loopholes in the Competition Act – one of the weakest in the world! – allow mergers and buyouts to proceed even when there’s strong evidence they’ll have a negative impact on competition and affordability. These loopholes severely limit the powers of the Competition Bureau, making it difficult for them to hold any Canadian monopolies accountable for their abusive practices in the market.
Momentum is building for change. 72% of Canadians do not believe that the government is doing enough to provide affordable and competitive telecom services.5 And a whopping 69% of Canadians believe that our competition laws and regulations benefit large companies over consumers.6
The truth is the game is rigged in favour of monopolies. They squash competition, leaving us with fewer choices and higher prices, whether we're buying groceries or signing up for internet services. They stifle innovation by crushing new ideas and preventing startups from getting a fair shot. And worst of all, they use their power to have way too much influence over our politicians and regulations, making it even harder to stop their unfair practices.
So how do we win change? The cost of living crisis isn't going to fix itself– we need to speak up! If we don't take action to challenge, break up, and prevent monopolies, millions of people will continue to struggle to meet their basic needs while giants like Rogers, Bell, and Loblaws keep getting richer.
In March, for the first time in 37 years, the government opened a public consultation to make significant reforms to the Competition Act.7 But right now, the government is sitting on the results of what they heard, showing no sign they’re even going to tell us what they heard needs to be fixed, let alone fix it. As the Minister in charge, François-Philippe Champagne is responsible for taking action and protecting us from these monopolies that are causing us harm.
If you haven’t already, send him a message and demand he fix our faulty Competition Act now. It's time to stand up for the people and end Canada’s monopolies for good.