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Archived - News release July 12, 2007

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Canada's New Government Creates Competition Policy Review Panel

OTTAWA, July 12, 2007 — The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, and the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, are pleased to announce the creation of a Competition Policy Review Panel to be chaired by Mr. Lynton Ronald Wilson.

The Panel will review key elements of Canada's competition and investment policies to ensure that they are working effectively, allowing us to encourage even greater foreign investment and create more and better jobs for Canadians.

"The global economy has changed significantly in the last decade," said Minister Bernier. "Trade agreements have opened national markets, while international investments have reached unprecedented levels. These changes increase our standard of living as firms take advantage of untapped investment opportunities, create more jobs and develop new products and services for consumers. Our competition and investment policies must be working fully to the benefit of Canadians in this environment. This is why this review is important."

The Panel's core mandate is to review two key pieces of Canadian legislation, the Competition Act and the Investment Canada Act, including the treatment of state-owned enterprises and the possibility of a national security review clause. The Panel will also examine Canada's sectoral restrictions on foreign direct investment, and the competition and investment regimes of other jurisdictions to assess reciprocity between their rules and Canada's. Separately, the Panel will also assess how Canada's policies may further encourage outward investment. The Panel will report to the Minister of Industry, on behalf of the Government of Canada, by June 30, 2008 with concrete recommendations to further enhance competition in Canada.

In addition to the Chair, four other distinguished Canadians, namely Mr. N. Murray Edwards, Ms. Isabelle Hudon, Mr. Thomas Jenkins and Mr. Brian Levitt have been appointed to the Panel. Together, they have an impressive record of experience and knowledge of Canada's economy and its place in the world.

"Canadians are actively debating how issues of global competitiveness and foreign investment can strengthen Canadian business. If we are to create an entrepreneurial advantage for the benefit of future generations, we must ensure that Canada's competition and investment policies are modern and flexible," said Minister Flaherty. "While these policies serve us well, they have not been substantially changed in more than two decades and this Panel will help us determine whether we are indeed keeping pace in the highly competitive global economy. I look forward to its timely and important report."