COVID-19: Regulatory Resources

Competition

The Competition Bureau’s merger review functions remain in place, with no change in approach and only minor logistical adjustments so far. In the area of competitor collaborations, however, the Bureau has expressed a clear and unprecedented willingness to support short-term, good faith collaborations designed to enable businesses to respond to the crisis, and has even created a new informal mechanism through which firms can seek the Bureau’s guidance regarding prospective collaborations.

Competition Bureau to Focus on Proactive Monitoring, Health and Telecom in the Wake of COVID-19 (Last updated August 5, 2020)
COVID-19 and Healthcare Product Marketing under the Competition Act and Food and Drugs Act (May 7, 2020)
Update on Competition Law Enforcement in a Time of Crisis: Consistency in Merger Control, But New Flexibility in Competitor Collaborations (April 13, 2020)
Competition Law in Canada: What, If Anything, Changes in a Crisis Situation? (March 24, 2020)

Contacts: Please contact any member of our Competition & Foreign Investment Group.

Energy

In addition to financial relief for the oil and gas sector from the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta has suspended certain reporting and inspection requirements that impact the energy sector.

Federal Government Announces C$2.5B in relief for Oil and Gas sector in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia (April 20, 2020)
Alberta Government Suspends Certain Reporting and Inspection Requirements Under Specified Energy Enactments, Rules, Directives, Approvals and Licences in Response to COVID-19 (April 9, 2020)
Alberta Government Suspends Certain Reporting Requirements in Response to COVID-19 (April 3, 2020)

Contacts: Please contact any member of our Energy – Power or Energy  Oil and Gas groups.

Intellectual Property

In the spring of 2020, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office ("CIPO") announced a blanket extension of all deadlines fixed under the Trademarks Act, the Patent Act, and the Industrial Design Act, although, as industry and CIPO itself successfully adjusted to changed circumstances, deadlines returned to normal over the summer.

COVID-19 Update: CIPO To End Blanket Extensions of Office Deadlines as of August 21, 2020 (August 6, 2020)
COVID-19 Update: CIPO Extends Office Deadline (Last updated July 15, 2020)

Contacts: Please contact any member of our Intellectual Property Group.

National Security

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to bring about an intensified governmental focus on national security. In the Canadian setting, this is likely to include a shift in industrial and economic policy to incentivize investment in critical sectors such as health, as well as placing renewed attention on the potential impact of foreign investment on Canada’s ability to respond to future crises.

Canadian Government Announces COVID-19 Related Enhanced Scrutiny of Investments by Non-Canadians in Canadian Businesses Involved in Public Health or the Supply of Critical Goods and Services (April 20, 2020)
After COVID-19: How Will the Government’s New Focus on National Security Affect Canadian Business? (April 14, 2020)

Contact: Shawn Neylan 

Pension Plans

Pension regulators across Canada have been taking steps to address the impact of COVID-19 on registered pension plans, including deadline extensions, restrictions on portability transfers and certain exceptions for plans that temporarily reduce contributions. 

COVID-19 Pensions Update: Federally Registered Pension Plans (May 12, 2020)
Solvency Special Payments for Federally Regulated DB Plans Suspended to End of 2020, Consultation Promised for 2021 (April 16, 2020)

Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences

The pharmaceutical and health sciences industries are in the business and regulatory spotlight, with issues arising around product marketing and expedited regulatory approvals, in addition to increased interest in potential acquisitions.

Canada’s Healthcare Industry After COVID-19: Legal, Medical and Business Perspectives (July 15, 2020)
COVID-19 and Healthcare Product Marketing under the Competition Act and Food and Drugs Act (May 7, 2020)
Health Canada Offers an Expedited Regulatory Pathway for COVID-19 Related Products (March 24, 2020)

Contacts: Sara Zborovski (Toronto), Ian Trimble (Toronto)