Commissioner of Competition to Step Down in September

OTTAWA, June 28, 2012 — Competition Commissioner Melanie Aitken today announced her decision to step down, effective September 21st. Commissioner Aitken was appointed in 2009.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to work at the Bureau for the past seven years, with over half of that time as Commissioner. At the outset, I identified clear goals to reinvigorate enforcement at the Bureau and, with the help of the Bureau’s dedicated staff, I believe we have accomplished what we set out to do and positioned the Bureau to continue its valuable work well into the future,” said Ms. Aitken.

A tough enforcer and a vigorous proponent of protecting and promoting the forces of competition, Aitken seized the opportunity presented by the Government’s amendments to the Competition Act in 2009 to reinvigorate the Bureau’s enforcement activities, and to make a difference in the lives of Canadians by ensuring that Canadian competition laws are respected.

Aitken’s tenure as Commissioner includes a long list of accomplishments:

  • Canadians today have access to more competitive markets, such as real estate services, and are better protected against misleading representations, including those resulting from fine-print disclaimers.
  • The Bureau is also currently seeking to address competition concerns in the airlines, telecommunications and credit card industries.
  • New initiatives aimed at promoting transparency and predictability were introduced by developing clear and frank guidance documents, by establishing a register to publicize merger review outcomes, and by publishing position statements describing the Bureau’s analysis of complex merger reviews.

Ms. Aitken has held a variety of senior positions at the Competition Bureau. She joined the Bureau in 2005 as Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Competition, Mergers, and was appointed Senior Deputy Commissioner, Mergers in May 2007. She served as Interim Commissioner from January 12, 2009 to August 4, 2009, when she was appointed as Commissioner for a five-year term.

Prior to joining the Bureau, Ms. Aitken was a commercial litigation partner at Bennett Jones LLP. From 2001 and 2003, she worked as Senior Counsel at the Department of Justice (Federal), on secondment from her partnership at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto.

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.


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