CBA Competition Law Section – Message from the Chair

  • July 06, 2015

Dear Section Members,

As we approach the end of the Section’s fiscal year (August 31) and my term as Section Chair, I am writing to update you on Section activities over the past several months. The enthusiasm of the leadership of our various Section committees has resulted in this year being one of the most productive in our history, for which I congratulate and thank all of you.

Committee Activities

Our efforts to encourage more activity by our committees throughout the year resulted in a significant increase in the number and quality of committee programs. By the end of June, Section committees had hosted twenty-eight brownbags, teleconferences and other events, a number of which were conducted jointly with counterpart ABA Section of Antitrust committees.

Our thanks to the Competition Bureau for their participation at the six in-person roundtables conducted this year with our Section (Patent Litigation, Reviewable Matters, Mergers, Criminal Matters, Fair Business Practices and Economists).

Spring Forum

On June 9, the Annual Competition Law Spring Forum was held at The Toronto Board of Trade. On behalf of the Executive, I extend my thanks to Huy Do of Fasken Martineau for his efforts in organizing this year’s conference, which was entitled Navigating the Increasing Complexities in Canadian Cartel Enforcement.

Competition Bureau Consultations

Over the past six months, the Section made a number of submissions to government and the Competition Bureau on matters of competition law and policy. These included submissions on:

  • Bill C-43 - Investment Canada Act amendments;
  • the Competition Bureau’s Corporate Compliance Bulletin;
  • Bill C-49 - Price Transparency Act; and
  • the Competition Bureau’s White Paper on Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Settlements.

We are currently preparing submissions on the Competition Bureau’s recently released Pre-merger Notification Interpretation Guideline Number 16, and the updated Intellectual Property Enforcement Guidelines.

While I extend my thanks to all of you who participated in the preparation of these submissions, I would like to extend a special thanks to Jeff Brown of Stikeman Elliott, Chair of the Legislation and Competition Policy Committee, for his contributions to our efforts during the year.

Canadian Competition Law Review (CCLR)

Volume 28, No . 1 of the Canadian Competition Law Review was published on June 8, 2015. Our thanks to Susan Hutton and the editorial team at the CCLR for their ongoing efforts to develop and grow the readership of this important Section publication.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Gascon

On behalf of the Section, I would like to extend our congratulations to Past Chair, Denis Gascon – now The Honourable Mr. Justice Gascon – on his recent appointment to the Federal Court of Canada and, more recently, as Chair of the Competition Tribunal. Mr. Justice Gascon joins Chief Justice Paul Crampton on the Court, the second Section member in recent years to have been appointed.

I would also like to thank Justice Gascon for his contributions to the Section and its leadership during his six years on the Executive.

Section Membership

An important development in recent months has been a change to the CBA affiliation rules, which now allow non-lawyer economists to join the Section and to participate on our committees. The important role that economists play in the evolution of competition law was an important rationale for establishing a mechanism through which they will now be able to participate in all of our Section’s activities. Economists wishing to join the Section should contact Joyanne Hyman at the CBA,

Section Executive

As I step down from the Section Executive, I am pleased to know that I will leave the Section in eminently capable hands. Incoming Chair, Susan Hutton, of Stikeman Elliott, will continue to bring to the Section and its activities the enthusiasm of her predecessors, and will be capably supported by Vice-Chairs Rod Frank of Telus and Anita Banicevic of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, memberat-large Oliver Borgers of McCarthy Tétrault, and Huy Do, who will be joining the Executive for 2015-16 as Secretary-Treasurer.

In closing, I’d like to say that it’s been a privilege to serve as Chair of the Section this year. We are among the most successful sections of the CBA, which reflects the contributions and dedication of so many Section members, including the leadership of our various committees. I encourage those of you who have not been involved in the activities of the Section or its committees to become involved, and to take advantage of the networking opportunities and the resources available to our members, including our semi-annual conferences and other professional development programs, brownbags, teleconferences, roundtables, workshops and newsletters.

If you would like to get more actively involved in our committees, please see our call for nominations to submit your candidacy and expression of interest for 2015-16.

That’s all for now. Have a great summer, after which I look forward to seeing all of you at the Annual Fall Competition Law Conference in Ottawa from September 30 - October 2, 2015.

Best regards,

Jay Holsten,
Torys LLP
Chair, CBA Competition Law Section