• Commissioner John Pecman Says Competition Bureau Will Make More Forceful Use of Its Powers of Inquiry
  • February 1, 2013 | Authors: Kevin Ackhurst; John P. Carleton; Denis Gascon; Eric C. Lefebvre; Richard A. Wagner
  • Law Firms: Norton Rose Canada LLP - Toronto Office ; Norton Rose Canada LLP - Calgary Office ; Norton Rose Canada LLP - Montreal Office ; Norton Rose Canada LLP - Ottawa Office
  • At an event held at Norton Rose’s Montréal offices, John Pecman, Interim Competition Commissioner, announced that the Bureau will be changing its approach to section 11 orders under the Competition Act. Such orders, made in the course of an inquiry, allow the commissioner to examine a person who has or is likely to have relevant information and to obtain the production of documents or information that are deemed relevant to an inquiry.

    In the past, the Bureau often preferred to seek the voluntary cooperation of businesses subject to an inquiry before resorting to section 11 orders. Citing the numerous delays and frequently incomplete answers that plagued this approach, the Bureau will in future make more systematic use of section 11 orders for inquiries into non-merger matters.

    This announcement is in keeping with the Bureau’s desire to be as transparent as possible in applying the Act to create a more predictable environment for Canadian business. Mr. Pecman took the opportunity afforded by his first speech in Quebec as Interim Commissioner to emphasize two other key priorities of the Bureau: the targeted and strategic application of the Act and strengthening of ties with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and provincial agencies such as the Quebec permanent anti-corruption unit (UPAC).