Edited by Albert A. Foer and Jonathan W. Cuneo
Chapter 26: Canada
Charles M. Wright1 Introduction Class proceedings are relatively new to Canada, and prior to their introduction the ability to pursue damage claims for competition violations was seemingly more theoretical than real. This was presumably because of the expense associated with bringing such claims on a non-class basis. Competition law class actions are now becoming increasingly prevalent and judicial commentary is beginning to clarify some of the parameters of those proceedings. Competition law class actions can be brought pursuant to the common law or the federal Competition Act.2 Section 36 of the Competition Act creates a cause of action for any person who has suffered loss or damage as a result of conduct that is contrary to any provision of Part VI of the Act. Part VI of the Act deals with matters such as pricefixing conspiracy, bid-rigging, false or misleading representations, and pyramid schemes. Actions commenced pursuant to section 36 can be brought before a federal or provincial court. The Competition Act gives the Competition Tribunal jurisdiction over certain matters addressed in the Act, such as mergers, refusal to deal, price maintenance, exclusive dealing, and abuse of dominate position. The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that investigates complaints and monitors businesses for unfair practices, including illegal cartels. 1. How does a damages action case get started? a. Meeting clients Generally, solicitation of clients is not prohibited. However, there are some common sense exceptions to this rule. For example, lawyers cannot solicit clients with a view to creating...
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