Commissioner of Canada’s competition bureau says we need to “get out of our own way”

john pecman

With all the focus that this year’s budget has put on startups — from fostering cleantech innovation to the decision to back away from taxing stock options — the question still remains about whether Canada is on its way to truly defining itself as a global leader of innovation.

The Disruptors tackled that question as co-host Amber Kanwar sat down with John Pecman, commissioner of Canada’s Competition Bureau.

“Canada is a bit of a lagger when it comes to innovation. Our view is that regulations can play a part in minimizing or restricting competition or hurting innovation, and we believe that unnecessary regulations impede disruptions and consumer welfare,” Pecman said. He said that the competition bureau has provided advice in the past on modernizing disrupting industries, such as the taxi industry.

“Our advice to regulators is just to level the playing field and create a fair, competitive environment but allow for competition for flourish,” he said, warning those making regulations not to be “enticed” by incumbents wanting to protect their own market share.

Kanwar wondering how far behind our regulations are when it comes to technological renaissance.

“Some regulators are still using the traditional bricks-and-mortar, traditional business model,” Pecman said. “Of course, they hamper innovation and disruption and new players to the market.”

Watch the whole talk below:

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