Thank you, Mr. Chair, members of the Standing Committee on Finance, Mr. Clerk of the Committee and the staff of the committee, for inviting me to appear before you this evening to discuss Part 12 of Bill C-10, that is the proposed amendments to the Competition Act.
My name is Anu Bose and I am in charge of the Ottawa office of Option consommateurs, an organization that is headquartered in Montreal. With me are Michael Janigan, Executive Director and General Counsel for the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa.
For over three decades now, our two organizations have been working to represent the interests of consumers in the area of regulated trade. Mr. Janigan has already testified before the Industry Committee on connection with the former Bill C-19 tabled during the 38th Parliament. This bill to amend the Competition Act was never adopted.
We would first note that while the proposed amendments are quite comprehensive, they have certainly been the subject of considerable past discussion amongst stakeholders and, in our opinion, represent a fairly balanced approach to the necessary refinements to the act.
Take, for example, the issue of the amendments that complete the reform of misleading advertising or deceptive marketing that has been the consensus for over two decades. These amendments help the competition authorities address this abuse in an economic and administrative fashion.
In the view of Option consommateurs, this package of amendments places appropriate emphasis on the importance of deterring anti-competitive conduct, particularly in the current difficult economic and financial environment that all Canadians are experiencing.
I'm asking Michael Janigan to give some additional comments on the importance of these amendments.