COMPETITION ACT GUIDELINES

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Background

The Competition Act is a federal law governing most business conduct in Canada. It contains both criminal and civil provisions aimed at preventing anti-competitive practices in the marketplace. Its purpose is to maintain and encourage competition in Canada in order to:

  • promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy
  • expand opportunities for Canadian participation in world markets while at the same time recognizing the role of foreign competition in Canada
  • ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises have an equitable opportunity to participate in the Canadian economy
  • provide consumers with competitive prices and product choices.

The following Guidelines are intended to clarify how individuals involved with the CSLA need to conduct themselves when participating in our association’s activities.

Policy

These guidelines apply to the CSLA board and all CSLA committees/workgroups/task forces.

CSLA Members must adhere to the guidelines, below. Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in the member’s removal from the board/committee/workgroup/task force in question.

Guidelines

DO NOT discuss current or future prices, fees or rates, or features that can impact (raise, lower or stabilize) prices such as discounts, costs, rebates, surcharges, payment or credit terms, or terms and conditions of sale including prices paid, warranties, sector capacity changes including elimination of products or services, marketing practices, suggested retail prices, bids or contract, what constitutes "a fair" profit level, or profit margins. Note that a price-fixing violation may be inferred from price related discussions followed by parallel decisions on pricing by association members, even in the absence of an oral or written agreement.

DO NOT discuss whether or not the pricing practices of any sector member are unethical or otherwise inappropriate.

DO NOT exchange data concerning fees, prices, production, sales, bids, costs, customer credit or other business policies or practices unless the exchange is made pursuant to a well-considered plan that has been approved by the organization's legal counsel.

DO NOT agree with competitors to divide up customers, markets or territories.

DO NOT agree with competitors not to deal with certain suppliers or others.

DO NOT try to prevent an actual or potential supplier from selling to your competitor(s).

DO NOT discuss your customers with your competitors, including the rejection of customers, or restrictive terms used with customers.

DO NOT agree to any membership restrictions, standard setting, certification, accreditation, or self-regulation programs without the restrictions or programs having been approved by the company's legal counsel.

DO familiarize yourself with competition law and how it could be violated by your participation in our Association; visit www.cb-bc.gc.ca

DO insist that all CSLA meetings have agendas that are circulated in advance, and DO adhere to prepared agendas.

DO require that minutes and notes recorded of all meetings properly reflect the actions taken at the meeting and list participants, and DO object if you do not believe they accurately reflect the matters which transpired.

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