Yesterday John Pecman gave his last public talk as Commissioner of Competition for the Canadian Competition Bureau. The remarks were made at the Canadian Bar Association’s Spring Conference in Toronto. Mr. Pecman became acting Commissioner in 2012 and was subsequently named Commissioner. In his final remarks (here), Mr. Pecman discussed the four goals he had as Commissioner and the successes the agency achieved in realizing those goals:
“Looking at this job, I saw four must-do things to make the transition work:
- Adopt a shared compliance approach;
- Increase our guidance;
- Enhance our domestic and international partnerships; and
- Restructure the organization through an internal realignment.”
As always, Mr. Pecman was candid in describing areas where improvement was needed. For example:
“Simply put, the Bureau’s current cartel model is inefficient.
It ties up Bureau resources and leads to poor outcomes. It needs to be examined and repaired, in keeping with the approach adopted by a number of our international counterparts, like the ACCC, who have employed “dual track” approaches to proceeding against hard-core cartels.”
Lastly, I was happy to see that Mr. Pecman and I share a strong support of “whistleblower” programs to prevent, destabilize and prosecute cartels. Mr. Pecman stated:
Finally, I firmly support establishing a stand-alone “whistleblower” program, similar to the model employed by the Ontario Securities Commission and some of our international counterparts, which would provide financial rewards to whistleblowers who provide information and meet certain eligibility requirements. This would be an extremely effective enforcement tool for addressing the most egregious and most challenging anti-competitive behaviour to detect.
The full text of Mr. Pecman’s remarks is here.
I have written numerous posts on Cartel Capers in support of whistleblower legislation (here) (here). They are summarized in an article I coauthored with a former Antitrust Division colleague, Kimberly Justice. The article, “It’s a Crime There Isn’t A Criminal Antitrust Whistleblower Statute” can be found here.
Thanks for reading. And many thanks to John Pecman for his long service on behalf of consumers and competition law enforcement. Congratulations John on your successful stewardship!