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Immunity and Leniency Programs

The Immunity and Leniency Programs are among the Competition Bureau's most effective tools for uncovering and stopping unlawful conduct that may violate the criminal provisions of the Competition Act.

Jointly administered by the Bureau and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), these programs enhance Canada's ability to detect, investigate and prosecute unlawful conduct.

The programs set out incentives for parties to come forward to seek immunity or leniency in return for their cooperation with the Bureau's investigation— and the PPSC's subsequent prosecution— of others involved in unlawful conduct prohibited by the Competition Act such as price-fixing or bid-rigging.

Immunity Program

Under the Immunity Program, the first party to disclose to the Bureau an offence not yet detected, or to provide evidence leading to a case referral to the PPSC, may receive immunity from prosecution from the PPSC. To receive immunity, the party must cooperate with the Bureau's investigation and any subsequent prosecution by the PPSC.

Leniency Program

The Leniency Program complements the Immunity Program. Any individual or organization who has breached the cartel provisions under the Competition Act and does not qualify for immunity can apply for leniency. The Bureau will recommend to the PPSC that qualifying applicants be given lenient treatment for their complete, timely and ongoing cooperation with the Bureau's investigation and any subsequent prosecution. Leniency applicants must plead guilty to an offence under the Competition Act.

The Bureau will continue to review the Immunity and Leniency Programs as necessary and update them as required in light of changing circumstances and decisions by the courts.

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