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The issues and questions raised in this paper are diverse and difficult. They are also fundamental to Canada's future economic prospects. The prosperity and quality of life that Canadians enjoy has been underpinned by strong economic performance. Canadian firms will continue to face competitive pressures from traditional sources as well as from new and developing global competitors. If Canada is to capitalize on the significant opportunities of the new global economy, we must consider how to address the challenges that fierce global competition presents.
Canadian competitiveness cannot be enhanced through a single policy, nor is there a simple recipe to accelerate economic growth in the evolving global context. The Panel will examine the Investment Canada Act to ensure that it is able to effectively deliver economic benefit to Canadians and review the restrictions that Canada currently maintains on foreign ownership in certain sectors. It will also review the Competition Act to ensure that Canada strikes a balance between dealing with these new global competitive challenges and maintaining the domestic interest in healthy competition.
The Panel's objective is to make public policy recommendations for improving the competitive environment in Canada. Ultimately, it will be through the commitment and ambition of Canada's private sector as well as the vision of Canadian boards and managers that Canada's competitiveness will improve.
To deliver on its mandate, the Panel will be seeking out the best possible evidence and expertise. As part of its deliberations, the Panel will commission research, and leading researchers will be engaged to conduct policy evaluation studies. The Panel's research activity will focus on those questions and areas of inquiry most crucial to the Panel's mandate, and on information that is not readily available from existing sources. All research findings will be made public.
The Panel will also focus on the competition policies and investment regimes employed by Canada's trading partners and other nations. The Panel will use this examination of international best practices as it formulates its recommendations to the government.
The Panel also recognizes that it will not conduct its review in a vacuum; other bodies and individuals are also at work on issues related to Canada's competitiveness. To that end, the Panel will follow with interest the research initiatives underway by others.
The issues and questions presented here highlight the central areas on which the Panel is seeking input from Canadians. The Panel is committed to listening to a wide range of stakeholders on issues and to receiving their input on the subjects under the Panel's mandate.
To that end, the Panel will consult broadly with Canadians from across the country. This document will guide the consultation process, establish the context in which the Panel is conducting its review, and frame the issues under consideration. This document also presents both the overarching questions and specific areas of policy on which the Panel is seeking input from interested parties and individuals.
Given the breadth of the issues, and the number of interested stakeholders, written submissions will be the primary source for input from Canadians. As part of the consultation process the Panel will participate in a series of meetings with interested parties across the country in order to hear their considered views on the Canadian competition and investment regime. The Panel recognizes that in the time it has been mandated to submit its report it will not be possible to meet all the groups and individuals who are engaged in the consideration of the issues presented in this paper. Written submissions will be given full attention, and will be crucial in informing the Panel's eventual recommendations.
The Panel is also very interested in the impact of relevant matters under provincial and territorial jurisdiction and will actively seek input from provincial and territorial governments.
As part of its review, the Panel invites written submissions from any and all interested parties. Submissions will be accepted to a maximum of 20 pages (including attachments), until January 11, 2008. In the interests of transparency, submissions, whether received electronically or in paper copy, will be posted on the Panel's website at www.competitionreview.ca. Submissions are welcome in either English or French.
Submissions should be directed to the Panel:
By email: Competitionreview@ic.gc.ca
By post: Competition Policy Review Panel
280 Albert Street, 10th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5