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Competition Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-34)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2024-02-06 and last amended on 2023-12-15. Previous Versions

PART IIAdministration (continued)

Marginal note:Application for inquiry

  •  (1) Any six persons resident in Canada who are not less than eighteen years of age and who are of the opinion that

    • (a) a person has contravened an order made pursuant to section 32, 33 or 34, or Part VII.1 or VIII,

    • (b) grounds exist for the making of an order under Part VII.1 or VIII, or

    • (c) an offence under Part VI or VII has been or is about to be committed,

    may apply to the Commissioner for an inquiry into the matter.

  • Marginal note:Material to be submitted

    (2) An application made under subsection (1) shall be accompanied by a statement in the form of a solemn or statutory declaration showing

    • (a) the names and addresses of the applicants, and at their election the name and address of any one of their number, or of any attorney, solicitor or counsel, whom they may, for the purpose of receiving any communication to be made pursuant to this Act, have authorized to represent them;

    • (b) the nature of

      • (i) the alleged contravention,

      • (ii) the grounds alleged to exist for the making of an order, or

      • (iii) the alleged offence

      and the names of the persons believed to be concerned therein and privy thereto; and

    • (c) a concise statement of the evidence supporting their opinion.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-34, s. 9
  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (2nd Supp.), s. 22
  • 1999, c. 2, ss. 6, 37

Marginal note:Inquiry by Commissioner

  •  (1) The Commissioner shall

    • (a) on application made under section 9,

    • (b) whenever the Commissioner has reason to believe that

      • (i) a person has contravened an order made pursuant to section 32, 33 or 34, or Part VII.1 or Part VIII,

      • (ii) grounds exist for the making of an order under Part VII.1 or Part VIII, or

      • (iii) an offence under Part VI or VII has been or is about to be committed, or

    • (c) whenever directed by the Minister to inquire whether any of the circumstances described in subparagraphs (b)(i) to (iii) exists,

    cause an inquiry to be made into all such matters as the Commissioner considers necessary to inquire into with the view of determining the facts.

  • Marginal note:Information on inquiry

    (2) The Commissioner shall, on the written request of any person whose conduct is being inquired into under this Act or any person who applies for an inquiry under section 9, inform that person or cause that person to be informed as to the progress of the inquiry.

  • Marginal note:Inquiries to be in private

    (3) All inquiries under this section shall be conducted in private.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-34, s. 10
  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (2nd Supp.), s. 23
  • 1999, c. 2, ss. 7, 37, c. 31, s. 45

Marginal note:Market or industry inquiry

  •  (1) The Commissioner may, after consulting the Minister, conduct an inquiry into the state of competition in a market or industry if the Commissioner is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so.

  • Marginal note:Direction to conduct inquiry

    (2) The Minister may direct the Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the state of competition in a market or industry if the Minister is of the opinion that it is in the public interest that such an inquiry be conducted. Before making the direction, the Minister must consult the Commissioner to determine whether the inquiry would be feasible, including with regard to its cost.

  • Marginal note:Proposed terms of reference

    (3) If, after the consultation referred to in subsection (1) or (2), it is decided to proceed with the inquiry, the Commissioner must prepare proposed terms of reference for the inquiry and publish them on a publicly available website and invite the public to provide comments during a period of not less than 15 days.

  • Marginal note:Final terms of reference

    (4) After having taken into account any comments received from the public, the Commissioner must submit to the Minister for approval the Commissioner’s final terms of reference and, if they are approved, the Commissioner must publish them on a publicly available website.

  • Marginal note:Duration of inquiry

    (5) The inquiry commences on the day on which the final terms of reference are published and the Commissioner must complete the inquiry and publish a report of the Commissioner’s findings on a publicly available website before the expiry of the period specified by the Minister, which period, subject to subsection (6), is not to exceed 18 months.

  • Marginal note:Extension

    (6) The Minister may extend the specified period for periods of up to three months.

  • Marginal note:Sending draft to certain persons

    (7) Before the report is published, the Commissioner must send to every person who was required to do anything under an order made under subsection 11(1) a complete or partial draft of the report and inform the person that they may, within three working days after the day on which it was sent, provide the Commissioner with the person’s concerns regarding factual inaccuracies or confidential information that should not be disclosed in the final report.

Marginal note:Order for oral examination, production or written return

  •  (1) If, on the ex parte application of the Commissioner or his or her authorized representative, a judge of a superior or county court is satisfied by information on oath or solemn affirmation that an inquiry is being made under section 10 or 10.1 and that a person has or is likely to have information that is relevant to the inquiry, the judge may order the person to

    • (a) attend as specified in the order and be examined on oath or solemn affirmation by the Commissioner or the authorized representative of the Commissioner on any matter that is relevant to the inquiry before a person, in this section and sections 12 to 14 referred to as a “presiding officer”, designated in the order;

    • (b) produce to the Commissioner or the authorized representative of the Commissioner within a time and at a place specified in the order, a record, a copy of a record certified by affidavit to be a true copy, or any other thing, specified in the order; or

    • (c) make and deliver to the Commissioner or the authorized representative of the Commissioner, within a time specified in the order, a written return under oath or solemn affirmation showing in detail such information as is by the order required.

  • Marginal note:Records or information in possession of affiliate

    (2) If the person against whom an order is sought under paragraph (1)(b) or (c) in relation to an inquiry is a corporation and the judge to whom the application is made under subsection (1) is satisfied by information on oath or solemn affirmation that an affiliate of the corporation, whether the affiliate is located in Canada or outside Canada, has or is likely to have records or information relevant to the inquiry, the judge may order the corporation to

    • (a) produce the records; or

    • (b) make and deliver a written return of the information.

  • Marginal note:No person excused from complying with order

    (3) No person shall be excused from complying with an order under subsection (1) or (2) on the ground that the testimony, record or other thing or return required of the person may tend to criminate the person or subject him to any proceeding or penalty, but no testimony given by an individual pursuant to an order made under paragraph (1)(a), or return made by an individual pursuant to an order made under paragraph (1)(c), shall be used or received against that individual in any criminal proceedings thereafter instituted against him, other than a prosecution under section 132 or 136 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Effect of order

    (4) An order made under this section has effect anywhere in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Person outside Canada

    (5) An order may be made under subsection (1) against a person outside Canada who carries on business in Canada or sells products into Canada.

Marginal note:Witness competent and compellable

  •  (1) Any person summoned to attend pursuant to paragraph 11(1)(a) is competent and may be compelled to give evidence.

  • Marginal note:Fees

    (2) Every person summoned to attend pursuant to paragraph 11(1)(a) is entitled to the like fees and allowances for so doing as if summoned to attend before a superior court of the province in which the person is summoned to attend.

  • Marginal note:Representation by counsel

    (3) A presiding officer shall permit a person who is being examined pursuant to an order under paragraph 11(1)(a) and any person whose conduct is being inquired into to be represented by counsel.

  • Marginal note:Attendance of person whose conduct is being inquired into

    (4) Any person whose conduct is being inquired into at an examination pursuant to an order under paragraph 11(1)(a) and that person’s counsel are entitled to attend the examination unless the Commissioner or the authorized representative of the Commissioner, or the person being examined or his employer, establishes to the satisfaction of the presiding officer that the presence of the person whose conduct is being inquired into would

    • (a) be prejudicial to the effective conduct of the examination or the inquiry; or

    • (b) result in the disclosure of confidential commercial information that relates to the business of the person being examined or his employer.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-34, s. 12
  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (2nd Supp.), s. 24
  • 1999, c. 2, s. 37

Marginal note:Presiding officer

  •  (1) Any person may be designated as a presiding officer who is a barrister or advocate of at least ten years standing at the bar of a province or who has been a barrister or advocate at the bar of a province for at least ten years.

  • Marginal note:Remuneration and expenses

    (2) A presiding officer shall be paid such remuneration, and is entitled to be paid such travel and living expenses, and such other expenses, incurred in the performance of his duties under this Act, as may be fixed by the Governor in Council.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-34, s. 13
  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (2nd Supp.), s. 24

Marginal note:Administration of oaths

  •  (1) The presiding officer may administer oaths and take and receive solemn affirmations for the purposes of examinations pursuant to paragraph 11(1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Orders of presiding officer

    (2) A presiding officer may make such orders as he considers to be proper for the conduct of an examination pursuant to paragraph 11(1)(a).

  • Marginal note:Application to court

    (3) A judge of a superior or county court may, on application by a presiding officer, order any person to comply with an order made by the presiding officer under subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (4) No order may be made under subsection (3) unless the presiding officer has given to the person in respect of whom the order is sought and the Commissioner twenty-four hours notice of the hearing of the application for the order or such shorter notice as the judge to whom the application is made considers reasonable.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-34, s. 14
  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (2nd Supp.), s. 24
  • 1999, c. 2, s. 37
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 127

Marginal note:Application of Criminal Code — preservation demand and orders for preservation or production of data

  •  (1) Sections 487.012, 487.013, 487.015, 487.016 and 487.018 of the Criminal Code, which apply to the investigation of offences under any Act of Parliament, also apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require,

    • (a) to an investigation in relation to a contravention of an order made under section 32, 33 or 34 or Part VII.1 or VIII; or

    • (b) to an investigation in relation to whether grounds exist for the making of an order under Part VII.1 or VIII.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (2) The provisions of the Criminal Code referred to in subsection (1) apply whether or not an inquiry has been commenced under section 10.

  • 2014, c. 31, s. 29

Marginal note:Warrant for entry of premises

  •  (1) If, on the ex parte application of the Commissioner or his or her authorized representative, a judge of a superior or county court is satisfied by information on oath or solemn affirmation

    • (a) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that

      • (i) a person has contravened an order made pursuant to section 32, 33 or 34, or Part VII.1 or VIII,

      • (ii) grounds exist for the making of an order under Part VII.1 or VIII, or

      • (iii) an offence under Part VI or VII has been or is about to be committed, and

    • (b) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is, on any premises, any record or other thing that will afford evidence with respect to the circumstances referred to in subparagraph (a)(i), (ii) or (iii), as the case may be,

    the judge may issue a warrant under his hand authorizing the Commissioner or any other person named in the warrant to

    • (c) enter the premises, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the warrant, and

    • (d) search the premises for any such record or other thing and copy it or seize it for examination or copying.

  • Marginal note:Contents of warrant

    (2) A warrant issued under this section shall identify the matter in respect of which it is issued, the premises to be searched and the record or other thing, or the class of records or other things, to be searched for.

  • Marginal note:Execution of search warrant

    (3) A warrant issued under this section shall be executed between six o’clock in the forenoon and nine o’clock in the afternoon, unless the judge issuing it, by the warrant, authorizes execution of it at another time.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (4) A warrant issued under this section may be executed anywhere in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Duty of persons in control of premises

    (5) Every person who is in possession or control of any premises or record or other thing in respect of which a warrant is issued under subsection (1) shall, on presentation of the warrant, permit the Commissioner or other person named in the warrant to enter the premises, search the premises and examine the record or other thing and to copy it or seize it.

  • Marginal note:Where admission or access refused

    (6) Where the Commissioner or any other person, in executing a warrant issued under subsection (1), is refused access to any premises, record or other thing or where the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that access will be refused, the judge who issued the warrant or a judge of the same court, on the ex parte application of the Commissioner, may by order direct a peace officer to take such steps as the judge considers necessary to give the Commissioner or other person access.

  • Marginal note:Where warrant not necessary

    (7) The Commissioner or the authorized representative of the Commissioner may exercise any of the powers set out in paragraph (1)(c) or (d) without a warrant if the conditions set out in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) exist but by reason of exigent circumstances it would not be practical to obtain the warrant.

  • Marginal note:Exigent circumstances

    (8) For the purposes of subsection (7), exigent circumstances include circumstances in which the delay necessary to obtain a warrant under subsection (1) would result in the loss or destruction of evidence.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-34, s. 15
  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (2nd Supp.), s. 24
  • 1999, c. 2, ss. 8, 37
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 128
 

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