Memorandum of Understanding between the Market Assessment and Compliance Division of the Independent Electricity System Operator and the Commissioner of Competition of the Competition Bureau

Introduction

The Market Assessment and Compliance Division (“MACD”) of the Independent Electricity System Operator (“IESO”) and the Competition Bureau (the "Bureau") wish to acknowledge their important ongoing relationship and to recognize that continued cooperation can contribute to improved delivery of each of the IESO’s and the Bureau's (the "Participants") respective mandates.

The IESO is an independent electricity agency established by the Government of Ontario under the Electricity Act, 1998 (the “EA”) with the responsibility to, among other things, direct the operation and maintain the reliability of the electrical grid and to operate the IESO-administered markets to promote the purposes of the EA.

The MACD enforces compliance with the IESO’s Ontario Market Rules for the Ontario Electricity Market (the “Market Rules”), rules made under section 32 of the EA, the objectives of which are to establish and govern efficient, competitive and reliable wholesale markets in Ontario for electricity. The Director of MACD has the authority to issue non-compliance rulings and impose sanctions, including financial penalties.

The Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace. Headed by the Commissioner of Competition, the Bureau is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Competition Act (the “CA”), the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (except for enforcement as it relates to food), the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

Understanding

The Participants establish this Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") to enhance their mutual interests and to develop a framework for cooperation to assist in the effective delivery of their mandates. To achieve the purpose of this MOU, each Participant will promote the benefits of, and encourage cooperation with the other Participant throughout all levels of its organization.

The Participants will, subject to their discretion and respective confidentiality obligations, cooperate and coordinate their activities, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. notifying the other Participant with respect to a matter that is materially relevant to the other Participant, and that could be carried out by the other Participant under its mandate, and exchanging timing and other procedural information related to such matters. The Participants will endeavour to provide notification as soon as practicable and, if relevant, on an ongoing basis;
  2. cooperating in enforcement activities, including exchanging information;
  3. sharing information in relation to the following:
    1. regulatory and investigatory approaches and practices, including major developments in competition case law;
    2. market monitoring activities and other Ontario energy market developments of relevance to both Participants; and
    3. analytical techniques including econometrics analysis and market simulations.
  4. undertaking joint education or advocacy activities relating to competition issues in Ontario energy markets which are of mutual interest to the Participants; and
  5. considering and implementing any appropriate opportunities for collaboration between the Participants in training, staff development, or staff exchanges; and
  6. engaging to discuss the items enumerated above and to explore further opportunities for cooperation and collaboration

Confidentiality

The Participants will not exchange information if doing so would contravene any relevant legislation, policies, international instrument, guidance documents or the Market Rules. Each Participant will maintain the confidentiality of any information obtained from the other and will notify the other should it receive a request from a third party for disclosure of such information. Neither Participant will disclose any confidential information obtained from the other Participant to any third party, without the written consent of the other Participant, except as required by law or the Market Rules. Subject to section 29 of the CA, where disclosure is required by law, the Participant required to disclose the confidential information will give notice to, and consult with, the other Participant on how to protect their interests and the interests of any third party whose information is to be disclosed, as required by the Market Rules. The Participant will give this notice as soon as it becomes aware of the disclosure requirement. The provisions of the confidentiality obligations will survive the termination of the MOU.

Communications

Points of contact for each Participant are as follows:

For the IESO:

  1. the Director of MACD.

For the Bureau:

  1. for matters that relate to mergers and/or monopolistic practices:
    Senior Deputy Commissioner, Mergers and Monopolistic Practices Branch;
  2. for matters that relate to cartels and/or deceptive marketing practices:
    Senior Deputy Commissioner, Cartels and Deceptive Marketing practices Branch;
  3. for matters that relate to advocacy and/or policy:
    Deputy Commissioner, Competition Promotion Branch.

Conclusion

This MOU supersedes all previous collaboration agreements or MOUs between the Participants. This MOU will come into effect on the date of final signature. This MOU may be amended upon the mutual written consent of the Participants. Either Participant may terminate this MOU by providing written notice to the other Participant at least 30 days in advance.



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Matthew Boswell
Interim Commissioner of Competition
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Glenn McDonald
Director of MACD
IESO
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